MERS strikes: 2 dead in 5 days, 4 contract virus

Updated 27 August 2013
0

MERS strikes: 2 dead in 5 days, 4 contract virus

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS) has claimed two more lives in Saudi Arabia and four others have been diagnosed with the disease in the past five days, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday.
This brings the global death toll from MERS to 47, including 41 in Saudi Arabia.
One of the fatalities is a 51-year-old man suffering from cancer and chronic diseases in Riyadh, who had earlier been diagnosed with MERS. The other was a 54 year-old citizen, also suffering from chronic diseases, who had been previously reported as infected with this virus.
The two new cases of infection were registered in the southwestern region of Asir.
They include a man aged 31 with chronic illnesses, and another, 55, who was in contact with an infected person, the ministry said. Both are being treated.
On Wednesday, two cases were found in Riyadh. The first is a 50-year-old Saudi woman afflicted with cancer and other chronic diseases. The second case is a 70-year-old resident with several chronic diseases. Both are in ICU.
Experts are struggling to understand MERS, for which there is still no vaccine and which has an extremely high fatality rate of more than 51 percent.
It is considered a cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.
Like SARS, MERS is thought to have jumped from animals to humans, and it shares the former’s flu-like symptoms — but differs by also causing kidney failure.


Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

Updated 18 September 2018
0

Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”