Pinoys in UAE worried after OFW dies from MERS virus

Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates are worried after the death of a Filipino paramedic due to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Last week, the UAE Ministry of Interior confirmed the death of a Filipino paramedic in the city of al-Ain.

"The Ministry of Interior has reported six cases of infection by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (Mers-CoV) among its Filipino paramedics working at the Al Ain Rescue and Ambulance Section, with one of them succumbing to the disease. The cases were diagnosed during the periodic medical examinations," the ministry said.

Five other Filipino first aid service personnel were also infected with MERS and are now quarantined and being closely monitored.

MERS emerged in the Middle East in 2012. The MERS virus is from the same family as the SARS virus and can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia.

Because of this, the Filipino community in al-Ain, especially medical practitioners, are worried about the MERS-CoV.

"Siyempre natatakot din kami na kami rin ganoon din yun mangyari sa amin," a Filipino, who declined to be identified, said.

The Philippine embassy sent a team to al-Ain to determine the situation of Filipinos in the area.

Ambassador Grace Relucio Princesa reminded Filipinos in al-Ain, especially those in the medical profession, to take better care of their health.