Special quarantine units for MERS patients urged

Updated 13 April 2014
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Special quarantine units for MERS patients urged

The Ministry of Health should launch special emergency procedures to stop the spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus by setting up special quarantine facilities to treat suspected and infected people, says an expert.
“In light of the new outbreak of MERS cases we have to change the emergency plan and set up special camps to receive and isolate suspected cases,” said Mohammed Al-Harbi, a specialist at King Abdul Aziz Hospital, which saw the death of a male nurse from the virus.
Al-Harbi said the ministry has three options: To establish an isolation camp for all patients in one place; have isolation wards in every hospital; or set aside an entire hospital specifically to treat MERS cases.
“Taking suspected cases into hospitals in a haphazard manner will only lead to the spread of the disease,” he said.
He said MERS was initially found among the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases but was now affecting young people.
“This is a dangerous sign,” the specialist said.
His comments follow the announcement of new cases of MERS infections, despite the health ministry’s efforts to sterilize emergency wards at King Fahd and King Abdul Aziz hospitals in the city.
According to a local daily, the head of a medical department at King Fahd Hospital has been affected, while a Pakistani doctor suspected to have the virus has been reported at King Abdul Aziz Hospital.
It also reported the death of a 40-year-old Saudi man at a private hospital on Thursday, bringing the total number of MERS deaths to three in Jeddah and 67 in the Kingdom.
According to informed sources, the number of visitors to King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah declined by 55 percent after reports of people there infected with the virus.
Saudi nurses have meanwhile urged the Health Ministry to take steps to ensure their protection.
They said the ministry was biased toward doctors, ignoring their plight.
MBC’s “Bidun Shak” (Without Doubt) talk show hosted by Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, editor in chief of Arab News, addressed the issue in its latest episode.
Speaking during the forum, Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said he supports nurses’ right to get compensation for dealing with MERS and other infectious diseases.
“I will take up the matter with relevant authorities to get your rights,” the minister said.
Khaled Mirghalani, spokesman of the ministry, said the King Fahd Hospital emergency ward has been reopened and all medical staff members had returned to work.
One Arabic daily, however, reported that there was a noticeable absence of staff after the head of a medical department became infected.
Deputy Health Minister Mohammad Khashim said the ministry has isolated six people that tested positive for the virus.
He said 90 percent of coronavirus carriers do not show symptoms, with only laboratory tests being able to make accurate diagnoses.
“All tested samples that came back positive have been published on the ministry’s website,” he said, stressing that the ministry’s preventive programs are linked to the World Health Organization.


Comoros minister praises Muslim World League's development work

Muslim World League Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa distributes aid packets among poor families in Comoros. (SPA)
Updated 27 April 2018
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Comoros minister praises Muslim World League's development work

  • The league’s contribution to the medical field totaled SR6,948,032
  • The league established six educational institutes more than 30 years ago

Comoros’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hamid Karhila, has commended the development efforts carried out by the Muslim World League (MWL) in his country. 

He also expressed his government’s gratitude to the MWL for its initiative launched by Secretary-General Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa.

Karhila said during a visit to the headquarters of the International Association for Relief, Care and Development (IARCD): “The new Comorian government aims to keep this cooperation with the MWL. This would help achieve more developmental and humanitarian projects that serve the Comorian people.”

Secretary-General of the IARCD Abdul Aziz Sarhan said: “The Muslim World League will continue to provide assistance and stand with the needy in all countries around the world.”

Sarhan said that the association carried out various humanitarian, medical and relief projects in the Comoros at a cost of SR10,916,645. These projects benefited 1,104,969 people between 2006 and 2017.

The league’s contribution to the medical field totaled SR6,948,032, which benefited 971,333 people. 

The league established six educational institutes more than 30 years ago. These institutes graduated thousands of students who occupy some of the highest positions in the Republic of the Comoros.

The MWL is also building a mosque at a cost of SR200,000 and working on the construction of an artesian well that cost SR130,000, as well as two surface wells at a cost of SR20,000.