Authorities: Quit rumor spread, Korean in Bacolod not yet confirmed for MERS

Photo Credit: Bulatlat

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Saying the Korean who is currently quarantined at a government hospital for suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has yet to test positive for the disease, authorities have urged the locals to stop spreading false stories especially on social media to avoid a mass panic.

“There is no confirmed case of this time in the Philippines,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Department of Health spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy as saying on Thursday.

The Korean, a student, has been kept under close watch at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) since June 29 after exhibiting fever symptoms.

He was initially admitted to a private hospital but was transferred to the hospital which is operated by the Department of Health (DOH).

The apartment where he stayed at after arriving in the city is also being monitored closely.

As reported by local radio show Bombo Radyo, City Health Office (CHO) acting chief Dr. Carmela Gensoli denied reports about the Korean testing positive for the virus since the results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has not even come out yet.

The results from the throat-swabbing tests will be released on Thursday afternoon, she said.

She also urged the person who originally posted the report to stop doing so since it would just create needless panic among the locals.

Earlier on Wednesday evening, Gensoli mentioned how the Korean’s fever had dissipated and described it as a good sign.

City Mayor Monico Puentevella agreed with Gensoli and appealed to people to be responsible with their online posts.

CLMMRH chief Dr. Julius Drilon also assured the public the hospital is well-prepared to handle suspected MERS-CoV cases.

The MERS-Coronavirus has k****d two dozen people and downed more than 150 in South Korea.

Last year, a nurse from Negros Occidental succumbed to the virus while working in a Saudi Arabian hospital.