DOH tracking 14 passengers for MERS-CoV testing

By Carine M. Asutilla, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas

Posted at Apr 19 2014 05:07 PM | Updated as of Apr 20 2014 01:40 AM

CEBU – The Department of Health-Region 7 and the PNP Regional Office in Central Visayas are currently tracking 14 passengers of Ethiad Airways Flight EY0424, who need to be tested for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or MERS Corona Virus.

In a phone interview with Senior Supt. Erson Digal, chief of the Regional Operations Plans Division of PRO-7, he said the 14 passengers are from the provinces of Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Cebu.

Digal said they were able to contact some of the passengers, who were willing to submit themselves for tests at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center or VSMMC.

On Friday night, Dr. Expedito Medalla of the Health Emergency Management of DOH-7 said four of the 14 passengers went to the VSMMC on board an ambulance from Pinamungajan town for testing.

In a phone interview, Medalla said that the four patients, who were on the flight coming from a pilgrimage, were not all from Pinamungajan town but from other locations. Profiles of the four need to be confidential, he said.

Medalla said the four tested negative and were sent home after.

Meanwhile, police have assigned officers in health units where there are suspected cases to also trace those who got in contact with the 14 passengers of the said flight.

Digal, along with other officials of the PRO-7 and the DOH-7, had an emergency meeting Friday evening regarding the tracking and information dissemination of MERS coronavirus.