CENTRAL Visayas Region (Region 7) is still free of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Department of Health (DOH) said.

DOH Regional Director Jaime Bernadas said that so far, there has not been any reported case of MERS-CoV in Central Visayas.

All patients under investigation (PUI) have tested negative of the virus, including a foreign national and his driver who were referred to the hospital last Friday.

The two were admitted to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) for further observation. Both tested negative, said Bernadas, who received the laboratory results yesterday morning. But Bernadas warned the public not to be complacent.

At 10 a.m. yesterday, DOH confirmed that one foreign national from the Middle East tested positive of the virus, the second case this year since a Filipina nurse from Saudi Arabia brought the virus to the country in February.

The patient is now confined at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City.

Bernadas said that last week, PUIs from Bohol were also found to be MERS-CoV negative.

“The DOH is vigilant especially our quarantine personnel in the airports,” Bernadas said, adding that they are closely monitoring all passengers using temperature scanners.

Arriving passengers are also required to fill out questionnaires.

DOH said personal hygiene is critical in fighting the virus, along with enough rest and Vitamin C.

Bernadas urged those who have visited Middle East recently to report to local health authorities and have themselves tested.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said the DOH and the Bureau of Quarantine are monitoring passengers round the clock.