DOH: No advisory yet on travel to Middle East

Posted at 09/27/2012 11:42 AM | Updated as of 09/27/2012 5:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said on Thursday it has yet to issue any travel restrictions in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia where a patient died from coronavirus.

“Sa ngayon wala tayong travel restrictions to and from the Middle East. Ang routine lang po yung screening sa port of entry,” DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag said on radio dzMM.

Tayag said a person suffering from coronavirus will most likely not be able to travel.

“Kung ito ay mabagsik na virus, malamang sa hindi ay hindi po makakapag-travel yung taong yun. Di nya kakayanin,” Tayag said.

The Bbureau of Quarantine is closely monitoring the country’s airports. Arriving passengers, particularly those from the Middle East, are required to pass by a thermal scanner.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a global alert after a 49-year old Qatari citizen was diagnosed with acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure in the United Kingdom.

The WHO said the patient exhibited symptoms of SARS, which became a pandemic in 2003 causing hundreds of deaths worldwide.

The new disease is caused by the coronavirus which is rare in humans. The first case was recorded in Saudi Arabia where the patient died.

Some of the symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

“Sa pagiimbistiga ng WHO, wala hong additional cases at walang nahawa doon sa mga nag alaga sa mga pasyente. Kaya lang po, dahil ang coronavirus ay laganap sa mundo, pinatitingnan na din ng WHO na baka may katulad tayong kasong nai-report dito,” said Tayag.

The public is advised to practice proper hygiene to avoid contracting the disease. – Reports from dzMM and Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News