Search form

Last updated: 1 min 9 sec ago

You are here

Saudi Arabia

Top compensation proposed for MERS-hit medical staff

The Ministry of Health is weighing a proposal to consider health workers who die of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus as martyrs, and to qualify for compensation like military and police officers killed in the line of duty.
Abdullah Al-Asiri, assistant deputy minister for preventive medicine, said the ministry’s human resources department was also considering moral and financial support for those medical staff dealing with infectious diseases. Al-Asiri’s statement follows the death of doctors and paramedics who contracted MERS.
Meanwhile, Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah arrived at King Fahd Hospital here Thursday to check on the condition of patients and staff. He urged health officials in the city to take all precautionary measures to contain the deadly virus and protect public health.
Prince Mishaal told several citizens and residents at the hospital the situation was under control, and that they should not worry about a fresh MERS outbreak in the city. He urged the hospital staff to provide the best care for patients.
The governor was briefed by hospital officials on the measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus. “We have sterilized all the emergency units at the hospital and trained our workers including nurses and paramedics on how to handle MERS cases. We have also advised visitors on how to protect themselves from the disease,” one official told the governor.
The official stressed that the hospital has not received any confirmed MERS cases over the past two days. “Our laboratories have tested samples from about 900 suspected cases and found only 20 of them positive,” he said.
The governor inspected the hospital’s sterilization unit, one of the most advanced in the Middle East, as well as medical equipment used for testing samples from suspected cases. The emergency ward at the hospital was shut down for 24 hours on Monday.
A paramedic at King Abdul Aziz Hospital was among two victims of the disease this week, bringing the nationwide death toll to 66.
Related report — Page 3

MORE FROM Saudi Arabia