Quotes: US 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 King 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.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Oct 25 2014 - Qatar's inflation rate to hit 5.5 percentMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's inflation rate in 2014 is expected to touch 5.5 percent due to steady rise in housing rentals, according to the finding of a research conducted by Standard Chartered, The Peninsula ...

 Oct 25 2014 - Flydubai launches two flights to TanzaniaMENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai-based flydubai's inaugural flights to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar touched down in Tanzania. The new routes further underline flydubai's rapid expansion in Africa, which has seen the ...

 Oct 25 2014 - UAE air cargo to grow 4.1 percent in 5 yearsMENAFN
(MENAFN) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Airline Industry Forecast 2014-2018 shows that international freight volumes are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate ...

 Oct 25 2014 - Qatar- QSL: El Jaish face Al Gharafa todayThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Third-placed El Jaish will seek to narrow the gap between them and two higher placed rivals - Lekhwiya and Al Sadd € when they take on Al Gharafa in the ninth round match of ...

 Oct 25 2014 - Somalia- Mogadishu port on development pathThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Camels are prepared for export at the loading dock at the seaport in Mogadishu. The Somali government's grand vision for Mogadishu port under its new Turkish managers sees ...

 Oct 25 2014 - Saudi Shias protest death sentencesThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) More than 100 people protested in eastern Saudi Arabia yesterday to oppose death sentences against a Shia religious leader and seven others convicted after earlier ...

 Oct 25 2014 - Palestine defies US, issues statehood ultimatumThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Palestine's chief peace negotiator has laid out in the clearest terms yet plans to establish an independent Palestinian state within three years, even if it means ignoring ...

 Oct 25 2014 - Police kill six militants ahead of key Tunisian pollThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Tunisian police killed six suspected militants, five of them women, in a raid on a suburban house yesterday after a 28-hour standoff, fanning tensions ahead of a landmark ...

 Oct 25 2014 - US looking into possible chlorine gas attack in Iraq: KerryThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The United States is looking into reports that Islamic State fighters used chlorine gas against Iraqi security forces, US Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday.Kerry, ...

 Oct 25 2014 - Qatar- Ooredoo marathon offers QR1m prizesThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Registration for Ooredoo Doha Marathon 2015 is open, as the company begins preparations to ensure its biggest event yet on January 9.It will provide an opportunity to meet ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help