MERS deaths in KSA reaches 55

Updated 13 December 2013
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MERS deaths in KSA reaches 55

RIYADH: Another Saudi who had been infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus has died, raising to 55 the number of deaths from the disease in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday.
A statement posted on the ministry’s website said the latest fatality was a 37-year-old man in Riyadh.
According to the ministry’s count, some130 people had been diagnosed to have contacted the virus in Saudi Arabia since MERS was first detected in September 2012.
Worldwide, the total number of laboratory-confirmed MERS cases that were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) is now 155, of which 64 have died.
Among the countries that have reported MERS cases or deaths were Qatar, Tunisia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy and Britain.
Researchers have earlier said the virus may have been passed on to humans by infected camels or bats, but more studies are being conducted to confirm earlier findings.
The new virus is related to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003. It belongs to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold.
It emerged in the Middle East and can cause rapid kidney failure but doesn’t seem as infectious as SARS.


Saudi Arabia, Russia ‘aim to build bridges through culture’

Russia is looking to bolster cultural ties with Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock)
Updated 37 min 20 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia, Russia ‘aim to build bridges through culture’

  • Culture not only supports economic growth, but also builds bridges between nations: Dmitriev

RIYADH: Russia seeks to extend its close economic ties with Saudi Arabia into the world of arts and culture, a leading Russian businessman writes today in Arab News.

The arts are “a source for new jobs and sustained economic growth, and private companies realize this trend is an opportunity,” says Kirill Dmitriev.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that identified this trend early. Cultural development is an important part of the Vision 2030 program led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” he writes.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of which Dmitriev is chief executive, “believes that culture not only supports economic growth, but also builds bridges between nations, creating an atmosphere of mutual trust.” 

As an example, five paintings by the Russian avant-garde artists Wassily Kandinsky and Pavel Filonov are being exhibited at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. Such cultural ties “will contribute to the long-term relationship.” Dmitriev writes.