MERS kills Riyadh woman; minister allays public fears



RIYADH: MD Rasooldeen

Published — Thursday 10 April 2014

Last update 24 April 2014 3:08 pm

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The coronavirus is well under control, Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said on Wednesday at a time when Jeddah reported 11 new cases of the deadly virus, of which two were fatal.
Four patients, aged 45, 51, 57 and 90, were diagnosed with the virus in Riyadh. One of them, a woman, died on Wednesday.
The 57-year-old Saudi patient who succumbed to the virus was suffering from chronic diseases, while the other three patients are being treated at the intensive care unit of a local hospital.
“Six patients in Jeddah have been cured and three cases are still under medication,” he said.
Al-Rabeeah urged community members not to panic, playing down rumors about the spread of the virus in the Kingdom on social media sites.
The National Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases will meet on Thursday to review the status of the disease and take decisions about how to combat its spread.
“We assure citizens and residents that precautionary measures have been taken by the ministry,” Al-Rabeeah said. The disease has not reached epidemic proportions based on guidelines set by the WHO, he said.
“The incidence of the disease is therefore very low compared to the population of the Kingdom,” the minister said. “Furthermore, the number of cases in Jeddah is proportionate to other regions of the Kingdom.”
“We are updating the ministry website with news about the virus around the clock,” he said.
The Ministry of Health has been observing the increasing incidence of virus cases and effective efforts have been taken to keep the disease under control, said Al-Rabeeah.
He also advised members of the public to take precautionary measures against the spread of the virus. This, he said, includes washing hands regularly and covering the face and nose in crowded areas or when visiting infected patients.
The minister also said that there is no definite remedy against coronavirus and that the disease remains a mystery throughout the world.
The minister also warned community members not to spread rumors on social media websites and urged members of the public to visit www.moh.gov.sa for accurate information and updates on the virus.

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