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3 of 5 quarantined Pinoys in UAE tested negative for MERS-CoV

Three of five Filipino health workers quarantined in Abu Dhabi have been released after testing negative for Middle East Respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

“They were tested negative after a series of tests,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose told a press briefing.

Jose said the Filipinos, who were released from quarantine early this week, have not yet expressed interest in returning to the Philippines.

The two remaining Filipinos, on the other hand, are still awaiting their test results, Jose said.

“According to our embassy they are all safe and are doing well and on the road to recovery, but Abu Dhabi health authorities want to ensure that they will register a double negative result in their tests beyond the 14-day quarantine period,” Jose said.

Philippine diplomatic posts in the Middle East, he added, have not monitored new cases of Filipinos who may have contracted the virus.

There are no travel restrictions to and from the Arabian Peninsula, but the Philippine government urged Filipinos in the Middle East to exercise vigilance and practice health precautions for their own protection.

Two Filipinos have died from the virus – a female nurse in Saudi Arabia last year and a male paramedic on April 11 this year.

First reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, MERS is a novel virus often referred to as the Middle East version of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS. Signs of MERS include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and diarrhea. —Michaela del Callar/KBK/JL, GMA News