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 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
 Mar 27 2015 - Coalition conducts 17 airstrikes against ISIL in TikritKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Coalition operations in support of Iraqi Security Forces in Tikrit commenced last night after a request from the government of Iraq, the Combined Joint Task Force ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Britain to train moderate Syrian opposition in TurkeyKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Around 75 British military personnel are to be sent to Turkey and other countries in the Middle East region as part of a US military led program to train moderate ...

 Mar 27 2015 - KDIPA chief concludes successful visit to JapanKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Director-General of the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah left here Friday after a successful ...

 Mar 27 2015 - 5 airstrikes hit ISIL targets in Syria, 24 in IraqKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US-led coalition continued to strike ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq, with a total of 5 airstrikes in Syria and a separate 24 in Iraq between 8am on March 25, ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Latest air coalition strikes target strongholds in northern, southern YemenKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Military aircraft of the 10-nation coalition intensified strikes on military positions in Yemen over the past hours, military sources confirmed.The sources said ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Saudi military command announces success of 1st phase of "Decisive Storm"Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Saudi Military Command of "The Decisive Storm Operation" said Thursday the first phase of the operations in Yemen was "fully successful." The targets ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Iraqi army succeeding in pushing back ISIL - US armyKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) launched "successful counterattacks" against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which prevented the group from ...

 Mar 27 2015 - More air raids hit Houthi targets in YemenKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Saudi-led coalition on Thursday night launched a new wave of airstrikes against targets of the Houthi rebels and the troops loyal to Yemen's ousted president ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Kuwait's 1st int'l triathlon tourney to begin SaturdayKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The first Kuwait international triathlon tournament will be held on March 28 with participation of 100 triathletes from 15 countries.Member of the Kuwait ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Airstrikes on Houthis to ensure Yemen security, say Arab statesKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Arab states taking part in a military coalition strikeforce against Houthi rebels in Yemen have said it is aimed at ensuring their national security as the West ...

more...


 






Google

Internatinal Property Show

 
 

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

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

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
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


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


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