(MENAFN - Arab News) The ministry of health issued a statement wednesday clarifying that there are currently no restrictions on visiting schools or hospitals due to the middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (mers-cov).
the advisory came on the heels of an order by the education ministry that all schools set up clinics to prevent the spread of mers and other infectious diseases.
education minister prince khaled al-faisal recently issued an order for every school to allocate a quarantine room stocked with medical equipment and medicines to provide treatment and spread awareness on health issues among students.
health and infectious disease experts also met at the world health organization on tuesday to discuss whether the mers coronavirus now constitutes a 'public health emergency of international concern." they decided that was not the case.
however the ministry urged the public to consider taking precautionary measures such as avoiding direct contact with people carrying the virus.
the ministry had earlier said that mers-cov is transmitted through direct contact with infected patients via droplets from coughing or sneezing. the virus can also be transmitted by coming into contact with patients' items or contaminated surfaces then touching the nose mouth or eyes.
companies have since directed employees to take precautions and use hand sanitizers after using fingerprinting machines.
meanwhile indonesian authorities are on full alert after several suspected cases of mers were detected among indonesian pilgrims.
indonesian authorities have stepped up surveillance efforts after one man tested positive for mers in jeddah.
jumallang kaneng lejja 84 had arrived in the kingdom on april 15 to perform umrah along with his son but was admitted to king fahd hospital in jeddah on april 28 and has been undergoing treatment since syarif shahabudin of the indonesian consulate told arab news.
his son had previously been suspected of carrying the virus but later tested negative and was discharged.
lejja's family is requesting indonesian authorities to facilitate their travel to the kingdom to visit him in jeddah.
there are five indonesians currently in hospital in indonesia undergoing testing. five others have been discharged said shahabudin.
indonesia's health ministry is closely monitoring the condition of returning pilgrims and residents he said.
an indonesian woman has died of coronavirus at king fahd hospital while two deaths have been confirmed back home among pilgrims who had just returned from umrah.
indonesia sends the largest number of haj pilgrims to the kingdom every year as well as a huge number of umrah pilgrims.
more than 168000 indonesian nationals are expected to perform haj and umrah this year.
indonesian authorities are in touch with saudi officials on the matter according to indonesian officials.