3 of 7 suspected MERSCoV carriers in Zambo test negative of disease

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/22 October) – Three of seven persons from this city who were suspected of having the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) tested negative of the disease, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

Dr. Nimfa Torrizo, DOH regional director said the seven individuals were among the arriving hajj pilgrims from Saudi Arabia, where the first MERSCoV case was reported.

However, Torrizo said three of the seven suspected carriers tested negative based on the laboratory analysis conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

She said they were still waiting for the results of the four remaining cases.

The official said two of the four patients were confined in a hospital while the other two were being quarantined at home.

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos earlier informed the DOH that at least 3,000 pilgrims from this city and from the nearby provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are scheduled to arrive here.

Torrizo said those who showed symptoms of MERSCoV like fever and cough are all residents of this city.

She said they have strengthened monitoring to prevent the entry and spread of MERSCoV since the region has “so many entry points” from Manila, where initial examination is being held for passengers coming from the Middle East.

She said that aside from the Zamboanga International Airport the airports in Pagadian City and Dipolog City, and even in Ozamis City, serve as entry points for passengers bound for Region 9.

She advised pilgrims or anyone who had traveled to the Middle East to submit themselves for medical examination should they manifest symptoms of MERSCoV. (MindaNews)