(MENAFN - Arab News) Hundreds of local and international callers phoned into arab news and logged onto its facebook page on wednesday to get information on the middle east respiratory syndrome (mers) outbreak in the country.
this was part of arab news' first public service initiative on mers.
dr. batool mohammed suliman ali a consultant on infectious diseases from king saud hospital took calls from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
arab news journalists also posted her responses in real time onto the newspaper's facebook page where there was a huge stream of visitors with questions and queries.
dr. batool also responded to many of these questions. the response was overwhelming with many callers unable to get through.
dr. batool spoke in detail about the measures put in place to check the spread of the virus. 'there is no need to panic" she advised callers.
the callers incuded men women and children of all nationalities. several readers called back to thank arab news. 'thank you arab news for the initiative" wrote sarah t. parael on www.facebook.com/thearabnews.
'i just spoke with dr. batool" said mushtaq khan khattak. 'i am so thankful to arab news and dr. batool for putting my fears to rest."
keanu ramos jr. wrote: 'thank you dr. batool for your advice."
one caller was pleasantly surprised when dr. batool mentioned that the name coronavirus comes from the way the virus looks under a microscope. 'it looks like a crown" she said.
fawad ali called it a good initiative. 'jazakallah" exclaimed fahad iltifat.
dr. batool thanked the media for spreading awareness about the virus. 'such programs instill confidence among the people and are a welcome step" she said.
arab news is planning similar phone-ins on other important issues.