JEDDAH/RIYADH: Irfan Mohammed and Mohammed Rasooldeen
Published — Tuesday 10 June 2014
Last update 11 June 2014 6:27 pm
The Ministry of Health reported only two fresh MERS cases on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 700 including 287 deaths since the disease was first discovered in 2012. A Saudi and an expatriate from Makkah and Madinah respectively were the latest casualties.
Acting Health Minister Adel Fakeih said that although the spread of MERS coronavirus is now under control, people should continue to be cautious and fight the challenge of combating the disease.
The minister was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day regional consultative meeting of the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region organized by the Saudi Center for the Adoption of Health Facilities in cooperation with the WHO regional office at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jeddah.
More than 50 experts and representatives of the ministries of health from Arab countries, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan attended the meeting.
Fakeih attributed the success in the control of the spread of the virus to health officials and members of the public.
He said that the ministry is keen on maintaining transparency in revealing accurate data of the developments in the spread of the virus. He said that the Health Ministry had discovered that 92 people had died of the coronovirus in the last two years but they had not been recorded.
“The Health Ministry discovered that 92 people had died of the coronovirus in the last two years following extensive verification and re-evaluation of previous medical records,” the minister recalled.
He explained that these deaths had occurred in hospitals which were not under the purview of the Health Ministry.
He added that there was no delay in the repatriation of dead bodies of expatriate workers who died of coronavirus.
Fakeih said that the ministry will offer incentives to those who have successfully contributed to the control of the virus in the Kingdom.
Touching on the consultative meeting, he said it gives an opportunity for all delegates to exchange their views and experiences with world renowned experts to deal with various health problems at national and regional levels.
World Health Organization’s senior executive for Eastern Mediterranean countries S. Siddiqui expressed concern over the increasing number of deaths due to lack of quality service in the region. He said that a proper health care system can save lives and also reduce government expenditure.