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DOH debunks false text message claiming SARS case in Philippines

A man holding her daughter leaves the Wuhan Medical Treatment Centre, where a man who died from a respiratory illness was confined, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 12, 2020. A 61-year-old man has become the first person to die in China from a respiratory illness believed caused by a new virus from the same family as SARS, which claimed hundreds of lives more than a decade ago, authorities said.

MANILA, Philippines — A chain message about a patient from China with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome visiting the Shangi-La branch of mall-based health clinic Healthway has been debunked by both the Department of Health and Healthway Medical.

“DOH assures the public that there is no reported case of SARS in the country and there is no reason for panic,” the department’s Tuesday alert read.

The message circulating through text and social media reads:

“Just have an info huhu May friend si Papa na doctor sa Healthway Shang ri la tinawagan siya just now… AVOID GOING DAW MUNA SA EDSA SHANG MALL. Nagka patient siya this morning galing from business trip from China. Nagpacheck up then meron SARS huhu so super contagious daw even healthway reported it sa Admin ng shang. Now ayaw I labas publicly Pero pinapalinis ng Shang buong 5th floor near healthway. But Sabi ng doctor it can be passed on by simply sa nahawakan na buttons sa elevator, door knobs and other things. As per the doctor na friend ni papa Wala daw mask yung patient niya kanina cause he didn’t know na sars so possibly via air Pwede din.”

Healthway also responded to the claim, urging Filipinos to be vigilant against false information.

“Let us all be on guard. Make sure to confirm and verify information encountered in social media platforms,” the company said in an advisory.

“There was no reported SARS case in any Healthway clinic specifically the Shangri-La branch. To protect the interest of the public, we will take this matter seriously and will not hesitate to take necessary actions.”

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.ca

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