Via ABS-CBN News: New tests on OFW negative for MERS-CoV. Click through for a 26-minute video of the press conference with Health Secretary Ona. Excerpt:
MANILA (1st UPDATE) - New tests on a Filipino nurse who returned to the Philippines last Tuesday from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are negative for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV).
In a press conference on Saturday, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said that the overseas Filipino worker (OFW), the Philippines' "index" case, initially tested positive for MERS-CoV when he was in Al Ain City in Abu Dhabi.
However, based on 2 news tests by the Philippines' Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the OFW's results were negative for MERS-CoV.
Ona said the nurse can now be discharged after being quarantined for 4 days.
The OFW was exposed to the Filipino who died of MERS-CoV in the UAE.
"Since ten days had lapsed from the reported testing date at the UAE, our task force right away got in touch with him and decided to perform a test on him, and fortunately, as well for the comfort of everybody, the findings of our Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, he tested negative," he said.
Ona explained that although the OFW initially tested positive for MERS-CoV, he was able to overcome the virus.
"Merong virus noong ginawa 'yung test sa Middle East. Subalit pagdating dito, wala na. Ibig sabihin, he was able to overcome [the virus]. Ibig sabihin nu'n, he was not sick at all, na-contaminate lang siya," he said.
Ona added that out of the more than 400 passengers who traveled with the index passenger aboard Ethiad Airways Flight EY 0424, they have been able to contact 119.
Of the 72 passengers who have so far been contacted and tested, 40 yielded negative results, the DOH said.