Via The Jakarta Post, a May 17 report: Three suspected MERS patients hospitalized.
Three patients suspected to have contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus are being treated at Mohammad Hoesin General Hospital in Palembang, South Sumatra, after returning home from Mecca where they performed umrah (the minor haj pilgrimage).
The hospital’s MERS team head, Zen Ahmad, said the three were admitted to the hospital on separate days: Friday last week, Monday and Tuesday. They were being treated in a quarantine ward while awaiting the results of their laboratory tests from Jakarta.
“If the tests come back negative we will send them home,” Zen said.
Zen also said that the hospital previously treated seven suspected MERS patients who all turned out to not have the virus.
In response to the growing threat from MERS, the South Sumatra provincial administration has set up a task force to prevent an outbreak.
“We are cooperating with [airport operator] Angkasa Pura II and the Port Health Office to examine people returning from umrah or entering from outside the province,” North Sumatra Provincial Health Agency head Fenty Aprina said.
Her agency, she said, had also gathered haj pilgrimage guidance groups in the province to disseminate information about MERS virus prevention measures to potential pilgrims.
“We call on them to avoid contact with animals and take care of their immune system while performing the haj pilgrimage,” Fenty said.