Schools free of MERS, but exercise caution: Minister

Updated 27 August 2015
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Schools free of MERS, but exercise caution: Minister

RIYADH: Schools are free from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV), but students should follow basics of personal hygiene to avoid any form of infection, a health official has said.
“There is no need to worry about schoolchildren becoming infected with the virus, since the virus usually does not attack people aged under 19 years,” Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Health Abdullah M. Asiri said in an interview with Arab News.
He said that from the time of outbreak of the disease in the Kingdom, there have been only 12 cases among children. “Even these children were infected from another contact.”
Asiri, however, inisisted that basic rules of personal hygiene should be followed, irrespective of age. Such rules should include washing hands frequently and covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health reported six deaths and eight new cases of MERS which brought the total number of cases to 1,162, which included 498 deaths. Around 66 patients are currently under treatment and 598 have recovered.
The ministry will continue its Kingdom-wide awareness campaign on how to keep the virus away from the people, he said, urging people to cooperate with the department to successfully complete its task.
Speaking about the health program during Haj, Asiri said the ministry has implemented a 24X7 epidemiological surveillance system in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah to cover all primary health care centers and hospitals to monitor the virus within the holy areas.
“Under the program, we are fully ready with our facilities, equipment, health care workers and personal protective gear to meet any emergencies connected to the disease,” he said, explaining that health officials will frequently visit the facilities to identify any suspected cases of the virus.
He also said that there are three laboratories in Makkah, Mina and Arafat and four in Madinah which can give results of suspected samples within eight hours.
“In the event of diagnosing positive cases, authorities will isolate such patients and remove them from the sacred areas to prevent the spread of disease among other pilgrims,” Asiri added.


‘Individuals responsible for Khashoggi's death were out of scope of their authority’, Saudi FM tells Fox News

Updated 21 October 2018
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‘Individuals responsible for Khashoggi's death were out of scope of their authority’, Saudi FM tells Fox News

  • Al-Jubeir said "conflicting reports" about whether Khashoggi had left consulate in Istanbul prompted probe
  • Said Kingdom was working on finding out location of the body and determining full details

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday that King Salman is determined to hold to account those responsible in the case regarding the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The individuals did this out of the scope of their authority,” Jubeir told Fox News’ Bret Baierhe during an exclusive interview, adding that none of those involved in Khashoggi’s death had close ties to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“There were not people closely tied to him. This was an operation that was a rogue operation,” he said.

He added that conflicting reports about whether Khashoggi had left the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul prompted a probe into his disappearance, and that Saudi Arabia will continue to put out information on the case "as it becomes available."

The Saudi foreign minister offered his condolences to the family of Khashoggi and said the death was a "tremendous mistake."

Al-Jubeir added that Saudi Arabia was working on finding out the location of Khashoggi’s body and determining the full details into what happened.

He told the news program that Saudi-US ties would "weather" the Khashoggi case.