Half of pilgrims unaware of MERS

A Muslim pilgrim wears a mask as she walks to Makkah's Grand Mosque to perform evening prayers, in this October 8, 2013 file photo, prior to the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage. (AFP)
Updated 04 September 2016
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Half of pilgrims unaware of MERS

JEDDAH: A 33-country study about “Pilgrim Awareness of Corona (MERS) Virus,” conducted during the last Haj season, revealed that about half of the pilgrims were unaware of the virus and prevention methods.
The study, carried out by the ENT and infection control departments at Kingdom Abdullah Medical City and Umm Al-Qura University, involved distribution of questionnaires about the virus to pilgrims during the Haj season in 2016 in English, French, Urdu, Indonesian, Turkish, and Malaysian.
The study confirmed the lack of accurate information about the disease among pilgrims, and general lack of awareness, noting the need for effective awareness programs and improved teaching methods about health issues during the Haj season.
MERS is a source of concern for the World Health Organization, with the majority of cases emerging from Arab Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia. This indicates the serious risk of the virus spreading during the pilgrimage.
Considering the virus’ source remains unknown, and with no vaccination, it represents a great danger during the pilgrimage season, which is one of the largest annual gatherings in the world. This requires enhanced preventive measures to reduce the spread of the disease among the pilgrims coming from around the world.
The aim of the Saudi study was to assess the awareness of pilgrims of the corona virus, and their responses toward protective standards in dealing with it. The study confirmed that knowledge and awareness is essential and will certainly contribute to the development and improvement of health awareness programs for pilgrims in the future.


Coalition acts against Houthi drone capabilities in Yemen’s capital

Updated 20 April 2019
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Coalition acts against Houthi drone capabilities in Yemen’s capital

  • The attacks are a continuation of previous strikes aimed at reducing Houthi capabilities

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition has began an operation to diminish the drone capabilities of the Houthi militia at a presidential palace camp in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, Saudi Arabia’s AlEkhbariya TV announced early Saturday.

Earlier this month, a Houthi workshop manufacturing unmanned drones and a launchpad were destoryed in a coalition strike.

The attacks are a continuation of previous strikes aimed at reducing Houthi capabilities, and counter their efforts at launching attacks against the Kingdom.

On Apr. 3, five people were injured, including a woman and a child, when two Houthi drones targeting civilian areas in Saudi Arabia were intercepted and destroyed.

In early March, Saudi Arabia’s Royal Air Defense Force again shot down a Houthi drone that was flying toward the Kingdom.