2 more Saudis die of MERS coronavirus

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Updated 15 October 2013
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2 more Saudis die of MERS coronavirus

RIYADH: Two more Saudis have died of the MERS coronavirus, raising death toll from the respiratory disease in the Kingdom to 51, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.
The latest fatalities, both men aged 78 and 55, were suffering from other chronic diseases, the ministry said on its website.
The report did not specify when the deaths occurred, saying only that both were from Riyadh.
Two more infections were also reported, bringing to 119 the number of people infected in the kingdom, the ministry said.
Worldwide, MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, has so far claimed 58 lives since it was first discovered by scientists in September last year.
The other deaths were reported in Tunisia, France, Britain, France and Jordan.
Experts are struggling to understand MERS, for which there is no vaccine. It has also caused worries
as Saudi Arabia prepares to host some two million Muslim pilgrims for the annual Haj, which begins on Sunday.
Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabeea, however, noted that authorities have not yet recorded any MERS cases among pilgrims arriving from all over the world.
“So far, no case of any epidemic has been recorded among the pilgrims, especially the coronavirus,” he said.
Health authorities in Makkah, where the pilgrims will be concentrated, have expressed optimism that the Haj will pass off without any outbreak, given that Muslims also go on lower-level pilgrimages throughout the year and there has been no mass spread of MERS.
as part of precautionary measures, authorities have urged the elderly and chronically ill to avoid the Haj and for pilgrims to wear face masks.
MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died, and sowed economic chaos.
Like SARS, MERS is believed to have jumped from animals to humans. It shares the former’s flu-like symptoms, but differs by also causing kidney failure.

(Additional input from Agence France Presse)


Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

Palestinians take part in a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
Updated 09 December 2017
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Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

GAZA CITY: Tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip after the end of Friday prayers, while clashes broke out between hundreds of youths and Israeli forces along the border between Gaza and Israel. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured.
The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, staged military parades in which masked men wearing military uniforms carried rifles and ammunition. The participants chanted slogans condemning America’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and calling for a revolt to “liberate Jerusalem from occupation.”
Fathi Hammad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, told demonstrators in the northern Gaza Strip: “Today we declare an uprising against the occupation, and there are no half solutions.
“We call upon all the free people of the world to boycott America and Israel, and we call on the Arab and Islamic countries to take a serious stand and support our people.”
He added that a US Embassy in Jerusalem would be “an occupation entity like any other.”
He also called for the return of the Palestinian diaspora: “Isn’t it time for anyone who (has believed) in this alleged peace for more than a quarter of a century to return to embrace his people and to join us in the trench of resistance?”
In East Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, clashes broke out along the border with Israel. As Palestinian youths burned tires, Israeli forces reportedly responded with tear gas and live rounds. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens were injured, some critically.
Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said during another march in Gaza City: “The Palestinian Authority must take urgent decisions, by declaring the failure of Oslo Accords and the end of that period, ending security coordination (with Israel) and permitting resistance in the West Bank.


“Hamas leaders declare the intifada for the freedom of the West Bank and Jerusalem, in response to President Trump’s decision,” he said. “Jerusalem will remain the capital of the state of Palestine.” 
“Trump’s decision ended any mediation role the United States could play in the political process, destroyed the peace process, and destroyed any talk about a deal to bring peace to the region,” Osama Al-Qawasmi, a Fatah spokesman, said in a statement.
Friday sermons in the Gaza Strip addressed the issue of Jerusalem and the American decision to transfer its embassy there, and urged the rejection of any attempt to harm “the sanctity of the city.” 
One of the protesters, Ahmed Al-Aksh, blamed “the weakness of the Palestinian people because of the division between Fatah and Hamas” for the US decision, “as well as the preoccupation of Arab countries with internal issues.”
Now, Al-Aksh said: “We must go out to the streets and face that decision.”​