Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

King bids to reassure Saudis as MERS deaths hit 85  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 24/04/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!

(MENAFN - AFP) King Abdullah was in the Saudi commercial hub of Jeddah on Thursday in a bid to reassure a worried public as the death toll from the MERS virus hit 85.

The Red Sea city has seen a spate of cases among health staff in recent weeks that have sparked fears that the virus has mutated to make it more transmissible from person to person.

The World Health Organisation announced on Wednesday that it had offered to send international experts to Saudi Arabia to investigate "any evolving risk" resulting from the apparent change in transmission pattern.

Public concern has been fuelled by the reported resignation last week of at least four doctors at Jeddah's King Fahd Hospital after they refused to treat MERS patients for fear of infection with the deadly coronavirus.

In its latest bulletin on Wednesday, the health ministry said that it had recorded a total of 287 cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the kingdom so far, of whom a full 85 had died.

Despite the figures, the royal family insisted there was no cause for public alarm.

National Guard Minister Prince Mitab said his father King Abdullah was in Jeddah "to reassure the public and to prove that the exaggerated and false rumours about coronavirus are not true."

"The MERS situation is reassuring and it has not reached the level of an epidemic," he told students in Jeddah according to the Saudi Gazette.

But that did not stop the king from dismissing health minister Abdullah al-Rabiah on Monday without an official explanation.

Labour Minister Adel Fakieh, who has taken over as acting health minister, said on Twitter late Tuesday that he had visited the Kng Fahd Hospital.

He promised "transparency and to promptly provide the media and society with the information needed."

- WHO offers expertise -

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that the recent cluster of cases among health workers was a cause of concern as the virus had clearly been contracted from a human patient and not directly from an animal host.

"WHO is unaware at this point in time of the specific types of exposure in the health care facilities that have resulted in transmission of these infections, but this remains a concern," the UN agency said.

"Therefore, WHO has offered its assistance to mobilise international expertise to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to investigate the current outbreaks in order to determine the transmission chain of this recent cluster and whether there is any evolving risk that may be associated with the current transmissibility pattern of the virus."

Experts are still struggling to understand MERS, for which there is no known vaccine.

A recent study said the virus has been "extraordinarily common" in camels for at least 20 years, and it may have been passed from the animals to humans and now evolved.

Since the emergence of MERS in April 2012, a total of 253 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infections with MERS have been reported to the WHO worldwide. Of those 93 have died.

The virus is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus which erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.



  MENA News Headlines
 Nov 26 2015 - Turkey- G20 Communiqu: 34The fight against terrorism is a major priority34The Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Following the two-day summit in Antalya Turkey G-20 leaders released a communiqué calling for greater coordination and information to counter terrorist ...

 Nov 26 2015 - Muslims on 39the front line39 against terror: NATOThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said it is Muslims who are on “the front line” in the fight against terrorism and extremism. ...

 Nov 26 2015 - Western Balkans 39key to fighting extremism39The Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The western Balkans is “key” to stemming extremism and terrorism the president of the European Council said Wednesday. Speaking at a summit to ...

 Nov 26 2015 - Turkey- Syrian Turkmen facing 39critical39 period in battleThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Fighting between Syrian Turkmen forces and regime troops is “critical" the leader of the Turkmen opposition said Wednesday. Russian airpower is ...

 Nov 26 2015 - ISIS kills its Austrian 39poster girl39 after she attempts to flee SyriaThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) An Austrian teenager who fled to Raqqa Syria in order to join the Islamic fundamentalist terror organization Islamic State was beaten to death after ...

 Nov 26 2015 - Kuwait Spain discuss scientific cooperationKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) KUWAIT Nov 26 (KUNA) -- Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) and Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) discussed means of scientific cooperation and ...

 Nov 26 2015 - Kuwait- KNPC upgrades operations at Al Ahmadi refineryKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) KUWAIT Nov 26 (KUNA) -- Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC) announced on Thursday upgrading its Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit at Al-Ahmadi Refinery so as ...

 Nov 26 2015 - Deputy FM: Kuwait interested in tightening airport security in coordination with BritainKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) KUWAIT Nov 26 (KUNA) -- Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said on Thursday Kuwaiti security authorities are keen to work with the British side for ...

 Nov 26 2015 - Al Tayer affirms DEWA's commitment to support UAE national identityEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI 26th November 2015 (WAM) -- Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority DEWA has affirmed DEWA's commitment to ...

 Nov 26 2015 - UAE- YFEL Led Solar Energy Project with Masdar Collaboration Comes Online to Help Power Rashid Abdullah Omran HospitalEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) ABU DHABI 26th November 2015 (WAM)--Masdar has completed a 543 KWp photovoltaic (PV) solar power project that is to deliver renewable energy to the Rashid ...






Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help