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Dokumentado Replay August 31, 2011

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Dokumentado Replay August 31, 2011
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by : FlipBooth on Aug 31, 2011
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Duration: 30:00

Video Description for Dokumentado Replay August 31, 2011

Dokumentado Replay August 31, 2011
rrrLuchi Cruz-Valdes discusses the in-depth stories about the latest news with her crew of the best and the brightest news reporters. Brought to you by FlipBooth - The Pinoy Style Youtube

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Dokumentado Replay August 31, 2011

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News Report:

Gov’t spending at least P2.07M to test 414 Etihad passengers for MERS CoV

The government is spending at least P2.07 million in its efforts to track, test and monitor all 414 passengers of Etihad Airlines flight EY 0424, the spokesman for the Inter-agency Task Force Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) said Thursday.

Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy said the photo chromatography reaction test, which requires a mouth swab from the tested person, costs P5,000 for each passenger.

Lee Suy said the task force has not yet compiled a detailed report of other expenses, such as hospital confinement, long-distance and cellular phone calls, and transporting or the fetching of the passengers from a specific location.

The 45-year-old Filipino male nurse who initially tested positive for the MERS-CoV in the United Arab Emirates was one of the 414 passengers on board the EY 0424, which landed in Manila on April 15. He subsequently tested negative for the virus in two tests conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Spending now to prevent higher costs

In a press briefing, Lee Suy said the financial cost of testing and treating the 414 passengers should be viewed in the context of a widespread MERS-CoV infection.

“Consider the economic cost of parents unable to report for work and losing income, or children missing school. A widespread MERS-CoV infection will pose a graver, bigger problem for the Philippines,” said Lee Suy, who is also the program manager of the Department of Health's Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases Unit.

As of 8 a.m., April 24, Lee Suy said only four of the 414 passengers have not yet reached out to, or been tracked down by, the DOH.

He added 315 passengers have already been tested, and results for the 275 passengers were negative. The other samples are being processed.

“The Philippines has employed the ‘no regrets policy’ in dealing with the MERS-CoV. The task force is aggressively tracking down the remaining passengers. No country can question how the Philippines is responding presently to the MERS-CoV threat,” Lee Suy said.

A comprehensive response to infectious diseases

Meanwhile, Lee Suy said President Aquino wants all government agencies concerned to sit down together and craft a "more concrete, more detailed, and more comprehensive response to emerging infectious diseases."

"The DOH has a plan on emerging diseases, but it is only a health plan. The President wants to see a bigger, wider plan involving more agencies. He wants it to be a multi-agency initiative. The DOH cannot do it alone," he added.

Saying that "the threat of MERS-CoV does not end" with the testing of the Etihad passengers, Lee Suy said that there needs to be constant vigilance.

“What we are doing with the Etihad Airlines flight EY 0424 passengers now, we have done in the past. Let me make this clear. We have this active surveillance since August 2012. We are not just focusing on Flight 424. We are also looking at other flights. The surveillance is ongoing,” he said.

Fill out forms

Lee Suy said that the Bureau of Immigration has re-implemented since April 16 the requirement that Filipinos returning to the Philippines from the Middle East must fill out the arrival cards.

“Properly accomplishing these forms is for their safety too. It is not only for government documentation purposes,” he said.

The task force has also recommended that this requirement be extended to all Filipinos returning to the Philippines regardless of points of origin. — BM, GMA News

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