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MENAFN - Arab Times - 08/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab Times) 160;riyadh may 7 (afp): saudi arabia's acting health minister has announced the sacking of the head of a jeddah hospital where a spike in mers infections among medical staff sparked panic among the public. and as two more deaths were announced from the middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus which some researchers think may originate in camels adel fakieh also announced an awareness campaign to help stop the disease's spread. the campaign urges people not only to follow strict measures of hygiene but specifically to avoid sick camels and refrain from eating raw camel meat or drinking unboiled camel milk. fakieh had already made such a recommendation last week. in contrast the campaign says cooked meat and boiled milk from camels are harmless. fakieh said on twitter late tuesday that he had sacked the head of king fahd hospital the largest in the red sea city of jeddah after inspecting the emergency room there. the jeddah hospital was temporarily shut last month after several medics were infected by mers. and panic there prompted at least four doctors to resign in mid-april after they refused to treat mers patients for fear of infection. nearly a week later riyadh dismissed the health minister and appointed fakieh who is labour minister to take over the health portfolio on an acting basis. fakieh who has repeatedly promised 'transparency' over mers said he has replaced the head of the hospital and his assistants. 'the new team will immediately take up its duties' he tweeted adding that 'the ministry will take all decisive measures to achieve its goals in preserving the health of members of society.' on wednesday health officials announced ten new cases and two more deaths from mers bringing the toll to 117. the victims were a 68-year-old woman in jeddah the kingdom's commercial capital and a 60-year-old man died in medina. saudi arabia has reported 431 infections since mers first appeared in its eastern region in september 2012 before spreading across the kingdom.


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