Asian diplomats briefed on MERS safety measures

Updated 23 September 2013
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Asian diplomats briefed on MERS safety measures

Representatives of various Asian diplomatic missions in the Kingdom, worried over the spread of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), met with officials of the Ministry of Health recently to specifically check on safety measures being adopted to contain the virus.
The meeting comes in the wake of Asian medical professionals working at local hospitals being infected with the virus, including a Filipino nurse.
Dr. Khalid Al-Mirghalani, health ministry spokesman, said Asian diplomats were assured that safety measures were in place at Saudi hospitals.
Scientists and health experts have called for watchful surveillance and vigilance to contain the disease.
Scientists said genetic analysis of samples of the MERS virus that had killed 58 people in the Middle East and Europe shows the disease has jumped from animals to humans several times.
“Our findings suggest that different lineages of the virus have originated from the virus jumping across to humans from an animal source a number of times,” said Paul Kellam, a professor of viral pathogenesis at Britain’s Sanger Institute and University College London (UCL), who led the research, told Reuters.
Dr. Ziad Al-Memish, undersecretary to the Ministry of Health for Public Health and one of the researchers on this study, said pinning down the animal source or sources would be critical in allowing health authorities to get on top of the outbreak.


Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

The marketing plan of the village has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 January 2019
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Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

  • “Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” Suzan Eskander said

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah will host a multicultural festival that takes visitors on a virtual tour of 50 countries.
The global village will be set up inside Atallah Happy Land Park along the city’s famous waterfront every day from 5 p.m. to midnight between Feb. 28 and March 29.
The event is one of many aiming to enhance tourism, as well as the local economy.
Suzan Eskander, director-general of International Image, the organizing company, told Arab News that the village is expected to attract 1 million visitors.
“Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” she said.
“There will be pavilions for participants from five Gulf Cooperation Council states, 10 Arab countries, 18 African countries, 10 European countries and four countries from the Americas.”
She added that folkloric dances would be performed by bands from each country.
“Performers will be dressed in traditional costumes,” she said. “Visitors can also enjoy dishes and traditional products from different countries.”
Eskander also said paintings portraying heritage and culture in the different countries would be on display.
“In addition, we are hopeful that the children’s zone will wow young visitors,” she said. “Little guests can develop their skills in drawing and games, as well as play zones.”
Eskander said the village was timed to coincide with the city’s good weather season, adding that a marketing plan has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. Eskander expressed her gratitude to the General Entertainment Authority for their continued support and cooperation.
“They have not only provided us instructions for obtaining the festival’s license, but are still following up to ensure that everything is going smoothly,” she said.