Tuesday deadline set for contact tracing – DOH

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


BY Tuesday, April 22, all 414 co-passengers of the first Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - Corona Virus (MERS-COV) case in the country must be pinpointed, identified and contacted already.

This was the directive given to the Department of Health (DOH) by Malacanang a week after the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) earlier found positive of the dreaded virus returned home.

"We need to work hard and look for all of them today. Minamadali talaga natin. The order is for us to be able to contact and locate all the passengers within today," DOH Emerging Infectious Diseases Program Manager Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy told reporters Tuesday.

He said this is because they want to avoid more possibilities of the virus possibly being transferred to more people as days pass.

"The reason why we are looking for all of them is baka may nakakapanghawa na e," said Lee Suy.

He said concerned government agencies are already exerting all efforts in finding them such as via e-mail, telephone, personal visitation and even the social media after creating a Facebook account (EY424).

"We not want to be caught unaware na may isang kaso pala at hindi natin alam. Hanggang hindi nae-examine lahat, hindi pa confirmed kung meron o wala," said Lee Suy.

"We are doing good so far. We don't see any problem with that. But siyempre, the faster, the better. Kung lumabas na lahat ng hinahanap natin, wala na tayong agam agam lahat," he added.

Lee Suy also reiterated that the DOH, through the Philippine National Police, is prepared to exercise provisions of the Quarantine Law of 2004 in cases of resistance by anyone from the passengers of Flight EY0424.

Asked how many have been found and tested already, the health official said Malacanang would be the one to provide the figures on the contact tracing efforts as well as the subsequent testing done.

But based on the advisory published by the health department Tuesday, 174 passengers have yet to be contacted.

"One thing I can tell you is that all results have been negative," said Lee Suy. (HDT/Sunnex)

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