(MENAFN - Arab News) The philippine embassy in riyadh has issued an advisory to its nationals in saudi arabia about the middle east respiratory syndrome (mers) coronavirus following the death of a filipino in abu dhabi and the hospitalization of five others according to reports from the department of foreign affairs released on tuesday.
an informed source said that three expatriates had contracted the infection in the kingdom but did not reveal their names or nationalities.
ambassador ezzedin tago told arab news that his embassy had already issued an alert on its website and linked it to the official ministry of health (moh) website enabling ofws to access the information on mers easily and be informed of the updates on the disease.
'we are now updating and issuing a new advisory to our nationals in the country" tago noted.
the embassy's website in coordination with the dfa urges the filipino community in saudi arabia to take the necessary precautions and follow the directives of the moh with regard to coronavirus.
health minister dr. abdullah al-rabeeah stated on april 9 that 'the rate of incidence is still low compared to the population of saudi arabia and hasn't reached epidemic proportions" according to the criteria laid down by the world health organization.
in manila the dfa issued a warning tuesday advising all overseas filipino workers (ofws) in the middle east on the breakout of the deadly disease in the region.
'we are advising filipinos not only in the uae but in the whole of the middle east to take precautionary measures against the deadly virus" dfa spokesperson charles jose said in an interview with inquirer radio 990am.
jose also advised ofws to 'remain calm' in the face of the crisis.
he said filipinos should practice proper hygiene wash hands frequently follow advisories from the health authorities and seek medical attention immediately in the event of experiencing any of the disease's symptoms.
the dfa confirmed monday the death of a filipino from the deadly virus in the uae and the hospitalization of five others.
'the philippine embassy in abu dhabi has confirmed that one filipino worker died on april 10 due to mers while five others remain in quarantine as a precautionary measure" jose said.
the filipino fatality according to him was a paramedic whose identity is yet to be disclosed.
'we have withheld the names of the deceased and those affected in compliance with the request of their families" he said.
he said that the five infected with the virus are making a steady recovery.
he also said that the philippine embassy in the middle east was in close coordination with the local health officials to monitor the cases of the affected filipinos.
the who has recorded 200 cases of the deadly virus and 88 deaths all over the middle east so far.
according to the who mers which is similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (sars) was first reported in saudi arabia in 2012.
the who added that the symptoms of mers include fever cough shortness of breath and sometimes diarrhea.
the philippine embassy said that the moh hotline can be reached at the toll free number (800-249-4444) for any queries about the mers.