ABS-CBN News

Saudi to offer nurses P400K for MERS-CoV campaign

Posted at | Updated as of 05/24/14 2:34 AM

Ministry of Health to offer P700K to specialized doctors, reports say

MANILA – Filipinos based in Saudi Arabia, especially those in the healthcare sector, are getting more anxious after the reported deaths of 2 more Pinay nurses due to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Jeddah.

"Very alarming siya. Sa ngayon, so far, sa mga nababalitaan ko sa iba't-ibang hospitals is alam natin na wala pa siyang cure pero meron na mga nadi-discharge na mga pasyente na nag-positive sa MERS. Naka-depende ito sa immune system natin," said a Filipina healthcare worker identified only as "Laura".

Based on Ministry of Health reports, 551 have tested positive for MERS-CoV. Of this number, 177 have died including the 2 Pinay nurses in Jeddah and another one in Riyadh.

Reports said the Ministry of Health is planning to recruit more than 300 specialized doctors and nurses to deal with MERS-CoV. The ministry is prepared to pay more than P700,000 a month to a specialized doctor and about P400,000 to a technical nurse.

Consul General Uriel Norman Garibay said an information drive is one of their programs that would hopefully stop the spread of the virus.

"Kailangan magkaroon tayo ng more awareness. We hope that the campaign to educate our people about MERS-CoV will be more intensified," Garibay said.

Consul Leo Tito Ausan clarified that hospitals would only accept walk-ins if patients are manifesting any of the symptoms of the virus.

"Walang tumatanggap na walk-in patients para magpa-test ka ng MERS-CoV. If you are manifesting symptoms like coughing and fever you will be attended to as in any normal walk in patient. Babayaran mo yung usual consultation mo with all specialists there then, and only then, kung may symptoms ka na ikaw ay may MERS-CoV sila rin ang magre-recommend sa iyo for further testing and will turn you over to MOH," said Ausan.

One of the fears of many parents is when their children go back to school.

"Ang inaalala ko lang kasi yung mga schools dito napapansin ng mga parents yan ay kulang sa cleanliness talaga. Kailangan na impose sa kanila na linisin ang mga banyo, maglagay ng mga wash basins. Importante na maghugas ng kamay frequently so mahalaga sa mga bata yun at maglagay din sila ng anti-bacterial sa bawat sulok," said housewife, Muffy Dakhnash.

"Nakaka-alarma ang sitwasyon ngayon dahil mostly sa mga biktima ay Filipino. Sana naman ilawak lalo ng gobyerno ang kanilang kampanya para lalong mapigilan ito," said graphic designer, Sidney Diaz. -- Report from Frank Resma, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau