Filipinos in South Korea told to take precautions vs Mers-Cov

Filipino nationals living in South Korea have been advised to take precautionary measures against the dreaded Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (Mers-Cov) which had so far killed five South Korean nationals and infected 41 others.

In an advisory, the Philippine embassy in Seoul, South Korea, listed important things that Filipinos staying in the country should have in mind to avoid contracting the disease.


“We are monitoring the situation and staying in contact with the people here to make sure that if there is a case involving a Filipino national, we would be ready to assist him or her,” Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul Hernandez said.

The Philippine embassy allayed the Mers-Cov scare in South Korea saying the World Health Organization has not declared any outbreak or epidemic of MERS-Cov in the country.


“Moreover, there are no travel restrictions to and from the country. Despite these, the Philippine Embassy is encouraging Filipinos in Korea to practice the precautions for their own protection,” the embassy said.

The list of reminders from the embassy includes proper hand hygiene, proper cough etiquette by covering one’s mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, avoiding contact with farm and domesticated animals, sick or those infected with Mers-Cov.

Tourists wear masks as a precaution against MERS virus at a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, June 5, 2015.

Tourists wear masks as a precaution against MERS virus at a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, June 5, 2015. AP

The Philippine embassy said those who have respiratory illness should stay home and wear a surgical mask to protect their family members.

Health workers must strictly follow infection control protocols set by their employers, it said.

“Visit your doctor, a hospital or health facility immediately if symptoms of Mers-CoV manifest itself, including, persistent coughing, and other,” the advisory read.

Those who happened to have close contact with a confirmed Mers-CoV patient must comply with local health regulations and postpone any trip abroad until after test results are negative.

Around 1, 500 people were ordered to self-quarantine and 1, 000 schools were shut down to prevent the virus spread.


The first case in South Korea was a man who returned to the country on May 4 after traveling to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain.

According to the WHO, the outbreak in South Korea is the largest reported outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the disease first emerged in April 2012.

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