Jeddah toddler, EP man succumb to MERS

Updated 17 July 2013
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Jeddah toddler, EP man succumb to MERS

JEDDAH: Two more Saudis have died of infection from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrom (MERS), the Ministry of Health said on Sunday. This brings the total number of deaths from the new virus to 38 in the Kingdom and 44 worldwide.
In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said the latest fatalities from the SARS-related disease include a 53-year-old from the Eastern region and a 2-year-old child in Jeddah, who suffers from chronic lung diseases. Both died on Saturday, it said.
Two other citizens in Riyadh region, aged 66 and 69, have also been confirmed to have caught the infection and are now under intensive care, said the statment. A third resident, a health worker, was also diagnosed with the infection and is under treatment.
Tests conducted on 77 other suspected MERS cases yielded negative results, the ministry said.
Prior to this new Ministry of Health announcement, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement dated July 5 that the global toll from MERS was 42, out of 79 laboratory-confirmed cases since the virus was discovered in September 2012 .
The WHO urged member states to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns. It also advised health care providers to maintain vigilance.
"Recent travelers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations. Specimens from patients’ lower respiratory tracts should be obtained for diagnosis where possible. Clinicians are reminded that MERS-CoV infection should be considered even with atypical signs and symptoms, such as diarrhea, in patients who are immunocompromised," it said.


Saudi Commission for Tourism adds 53,000 relics to national digital record

Pedestal or altar, 500–300 BCE. Saudi Arabia; Tayma city. Sandstone. (Photo courtesy: National Museum, Riyadh)
Updated 1 min 53 sec ago
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Saudi Commission for Tourism adds 53,000 relics to national digital record

  • The SCTH has announced financial rewards for those who return artifacts or report their loss or theft
  • Some artifacts found their way outside Saudi Arabia through foreign travelers who moved them to other countries

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) is registering more than 53,000 artifacts and relics that it restored from inside and outside the Kingdom as part of the National Project for Digital Recording of Antiquities.

The project follows international standards for archaeological recording and archiving, and will document and store all historic sites, artifacts, historical monuments and urban heritage buildings in a national digital registry linked to a multidimensional digital map.
Naif Al-Qannour, director-general of archiving and protecting antiquities at the SCTH, said: “The new digital recording project stores detailed information and reports about 32,000 artifacts retrieved from outside the Kingdom and 20,000 returned by citizens to the SCTH since Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of SCTH, launched the campaign to retrieve national artifacts in 2011.
“Some artifacts found their way outside Saudi Arabia through foreign travelers who moved them to other countries. One of the most famous artifacts is the Tayma Stone, which was displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris.”
Al-Qannour said that many employees of foreign companies, especially in the oil industry, visited parts of Saudi Arabia to study geology and natural manifestations, collected the artifacts they found and took them to national museums in their home countries.
“Robbers of archaeological sites sometimes dig for archaeological treasures and achieve fast financial gains,” Al-Qannour said. “By doing so, they are destroying important archaeological evidence found in these sites, be it on land or in the sea.”
Al-Qannour said the SCTH had released a red list of artifacts stolen from sites inside Saudi Arabia with information to make them easier to identify.
The SCTH has also announced financial rewards for those who return artifacts or report their loss or theft.
In 2011, Prince Sultan launched a campaign to review national artifacts, including media and cultural programs and initiatives to highlight the value of artifacts and the importance of returning them to the SCTH.
Recently, the commission released a list of 140 citizens and 18 Americans who returned artifacts, reported archaeological sites or cooperated with the SCTH to protect the country’s cultural heritage between 2013 and 2017. They will be honored during the First Antiquities Forum, which will be launched under the patronage of King Salman on Nov. 7 at the National Museum in Riyadh.