The Palace welcomed the statement of the World Health Organization, which commended the Philippines for successfully handling the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) cases in the country.

There were two case of MERS-CoV in the Philippines—one when a Filipino nurse from the Middle East arrived in the country with the disease and recently a foreigner entering the Philippines was initially suspected to be infected with MERS CoV.

“We have always stated that our Department of Health is ready to address all these issues including MERS-CoV and it clearly showed,” Deputy presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“We welcome the observation of the World Health Organization in the handling of the MERS-CoV situation, and that is the commitment of this government, that is the commitment of the Department of Health—that we will address all concerns that may affect the health of the general populace.”

Although the foreigner, who is confined at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), is cleared of the disease, Lacierda said the government will continue monitoring the country’s entry points to detect people having the MERS CoV.

“We’re always monitoring the situation and, like I said, the Department of Health is always on the ball in addressing all these possible health (matters) to protect our country,” he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

The 36-year-old foreigner diagnosed with MERS CoV has already been cleared of the disease, health authorities said on Friday.

The patient, who is from Finland, will be discharged from the RITM this weekend. His close contact however, a 32-year old female, will remain at the hospital to complete her 14-day quarantine period until July 18.

The foreigner had traveled from Saudi Arabia, passing by Dubai in the Middle East, before arriving in the Philippines on June 19.