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    Posted April 23, 2014 by

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    Phl senator fears of MERS-CoV outbreak

    BOTHERED by possible Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) outbreak, Philippine Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday urged the Department of Health (DOH) to enlist the help of village officials in tracking down 174 passengers from a Middle East flight who might have been exposed to the virus.
    "We need to act fast to prevent a possible outbreak of this deadly respiratory virus," she said, adding that the DOH can enlist the help of village officials to locate the passengers.
    Binay said these officials are the most capable to look for them since they are familiar with their constituents.
    "They know the families that make up their community so reporting to the DOH would be faster since they are already on the ground," she said.
    The senator also appealed for the passengers to voluntarily submit themselves to testing.
    "That is not only for their own good but also for their relatives' and communities' well-being and peace of mind," she said.
    The Philippine National Police (PNP) has already ordered its units to track the passengers of Etihad flight number 0424 from Abu Dhabi. A male nurse, who was on the flight, tested positive for the virus but succeeding tests here in the country showed negative results.
    Binay said the DOH should empower the village officials and equip them with the necessary information, training and equipment to help them in tracking.
    "I think it would be easier for the passengers to talk to their barangay officials since they know them, rather than to a police officer," Binay said.
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