Via InterAksyon.com: 2 PH experts fly to Middle East to check on OFWs amid rising MERS cases. Excerpt:
Two Filipino experts in infectious diseases flew to the Gulf Monday to check on the conditions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the wake of the continued spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The two experts come from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, one of the country’s referral centers for contagious diseases, said Department of Health spokesman Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy.
“The experts are going to check the status of OFWs based in the Middle East. They will look into selected hospitals – bakit nagkakahawahan dun [why the infections are spreading in those places],” he said in a press briefing.
The two experts will also review the infection control measures of the hospitals, and what personal protective equipment against MERS-CoV are provided to their workers.
Their itinerary, prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs, includes a visit to hospitals in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi where five Filipino health workers have died from the virus.
The latest victim was a nurse who died in Saudi Arabia last week. She got exposed to the virus after attending to an infected patient and she had asthma.
The protective measures are crucial considering that 50 percent of Filipino health workers deployed abroad are based in the Middle East, officials said.
Meanwhile, the DOH has asked recruitment agencies, through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, to help monitor OFWs by checking on their recruits at least once a week.
Lee Suy said these agencies are being asked to work out a set-up such that hospital employers will not assign health workers to take care of MERS-CoV patients if they have other health problems.