PNoy wants all passengers of Etihad flight tested for MERS-CoV

Posted at 04/20/14 6:22 PM

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III wants all passengers of Etihad Airways flight EY 0424 tested for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV).

Even if the Department of Health (DOH) has already cleared a passenger initially believed to be positive for the virus, Aquino “directed that efforts to trace and contact all other passengers be continued until all had been tested,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

“This is to rule out the possibility that there may be others who are positive for the virus, considering that all of them travelled from the Middle East (Arabian Peninsula) which is the source of the virus, and considering further that there is a 14-day maximum incubation period,” Coloma explained.

Of the 414 passengers of the Etihad Airways flight, 213 have yet to be contacted as of 1 p.m. om Easter Sunday.

Aquino presided over an inter-agency meeting on the MERS-CoV on Saturday at the DOH-San Lazaro compound. Present were Coloma, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

Coloma also noted that Ona has already issued a quarantine bulletin “requiring all travelers returning from the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen) to fill out detailed contact information forms for immediate tracing, in case they may manifest the flu-like symptoms of the virus up to 14 days after their arrival in Manila.”

The passengers are requested to contact hotline numbers 711-1001, 711-1002, 0922-884-1564, 0920-949-8419, 0915-772-5621.