MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Monday that an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) died in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after contracting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
In a press conference, DFA Spokesman Charles Jose said 5 more Filipinos have been quarantined as a precautionary measure. He said, however, that the five “are doing well and recovering.”
Jose said the DFA will not disclose the name of the victim out of respect to the family.
He said the DFA has contacted the victim's relatives and offered the necessary assistance they will need.
He said the Filipino is the first MERS-CoV fatality in the UAE and the second Filipino MERS-CoV fatality overall after one died in Southern India last year.
Meanwhile, Jose urged Filipinos in UAE to follow strictly the health precautions issued by the government.
Human-to-human transmission has been documented in connection with the MERS-CoV.
Jose said the Filipino may have contracted the virus while at work.
According to The National, a newspaper based in Abu Dhabi, the Filipinos affected worked as paramedics.
Quoting the Ministry of Interior there, The National said the patients treated by the paramedics have already been contacted as a precaution.
Despite all these, Middle East medical director for International SOS Dr. Salwan Ibrahim said the cases should not alarm the entire population.