Coronavirus tests for EP pilgrims urged

Updated 18 May 2013
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Coronavirus tests for EP pilgrims urged

President of the Haj and Umrah Committee Osama Filaali called on the Health Ministry to make Eastern Province pilgrims undergo coronavirus testing.
He said up until yesterday the committee has not received of contingency plans to deal with a possible outbreak of the virus, which is associated with acute respiratory syndrome accompanied by renal failure.
Jeddah Health Director Dr. Sami Badawood said the Health Ministry does not intend to make pilgrims arriving from the Eastern Province through the King Abdelazziz Airport to undergo such medical tests for coronavirus.
He said the Health Ministry has issued a warning to citizens who appear to have symptoms of the disease, or those who have contact with people who have it, not to leave their area and undergo medical check-ups.
“This is sufficient precautionary measures for this disease in the present situation,” he said.
He clarified that the present procedures taken at airports has come after the recommendation by the World Health Organization, and added that there has been no similar cases like the coronavirus infection in the Jeddah governorate at the present time despite the rumors circulating in some social media websites.
The Health Ministry officially said 15 people have died from the virus in the Eastern Region and a total of 30 cases have been reported.
The first cases, two Saudis and a Qatari, were discovered in the Jeddah governorate last September.
On its website, the World Health Organization said the virus includes a platoon of viruses ranging from common colds to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).


Saudi Arabia’s first ‘smart’ pharmacy inaugurated

Updated 36 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s first ‘smart’ pharmacy inaugurated

TABUK: Prince Fahd bin Sultan, governor of Tabuk region, inaugurated the Kingdom’s first smart pharmacy — operated by a robot — at King Fahd Specialist Hospital on Thursday, following his meeting with the province’s director general of health affairs, Ghurmallah bin Abdullah Al-Ghamdi.
It is hoped that the smart pharmacy — which can dispense 1,500 packages of medicine per hour, store over 20,000 packages of medicine, reject expired drugs, and deal with 240 prescriptions per hour — will save the time of patients and pharmacists, ensure better control of drug stocks, provide the highest safety standards, and reduce medication errors.
The pharmacy has six outlets, one of which is dedicated to serving disabled people.
Prince Fahd congratulated Tabuk Health Affairs on this achievement, which he said would contribute to better health care services.
He stressed that serving citizens was the main objective and praised the role of young men and women in meeting the requirements of the future.
He also thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for the health care sector in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Ghamdi thanked Prince Fahd for his support for the health care sector in the province.