DOH: PhilHealth benefit package for MERS-CoV in the works

April 30, 2014 6:06 am 

MANILA, April 29 — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will soon be providing a benefit package for passengers coming from the Arabian Peninsula who wish to be tested for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

So far, the Department of Health (DOH) has spent over P2 million for free testing of 414 passengers on Etihad Airways flight EY 0424 who arrived the Philippines last April 15.

DOH task force for MERS-CoV spokesman, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy said in a health forum on Tuesday that one polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to detect if a person is infected with MERS-CoV costs P5,000.

Although details on the benefit package have yet to be released, Suy said that the cost of laboratory tests for the EY 0424 passengers will be shouldered by PhilHealth.

Of the total number of passengers of EY 0424, Suy said that so far, 400 have been contract traced while 394 have already been tested negative for the virus.

One passenger, a nurse based in Abu Dhabi was initially tested positive for MERS-CoV while still in the United Arab Emirates. He was then placed under quarantine.

On April 19, he tested negative 11 days after being exposed to the virus in a hospital where he worked in Abu Dhabi through a Filipino patient who died there due to MERS-CoV. (PNA)

LGI/ANP

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