MERS kills three more, toll hits 457

Updated 18 June 2015

MERS kills three more, toll hits 457

RIYADH: The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) corona virus claimed the lives of three people on Monday and Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 457 in the Kingdom.
The deceased included two Saudi men from Hofuf and Thurabah respectively. The Kingdom has now dealt with 1,034 cases. There are nine people receiving treatment at local hospitals.
Sri Lankan medical experts have taken steps to conduct medical checks on passengers arriving at the Bandaranaike International Airport from Monday.
Palitha Maheepala, director general health services, said that the Health Ministry had set up special medical units at the airport to test passengers from South Korea and west Asian countries.
Maheepala said the first confirmed case had been reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It was not certain whether the infections were due to a single zoonotic event with subsequent human-to-human transmission or whether there were multiple geographic sites of infection representing multiple zoonotic events from an unknown source, he said.
He said the evidence available to date suggests that the virus had been present in bats for some time and spread to camels by the mid 1990s. The virus appeared to have spread from camels to humans in the early part of the decade, he said.
People with underlying health conditions such as heart conditions, diabetes, kidney diseases, respiratory diseases, and the elderly should avoid close animal contact when visiting farms and markets, Maheepala said.
Health Ministry Spokesman Khalid Al-Mirghalani said the ministry has opened a 24-hour hotline on 937 to help the members of the public on any matters related to the MERS disease. He said callers would be assured of confidentiality.
He said there are three major hospitals in Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah that have been designated as centers of excellence to treat MERS patients. In addition to these facilities, he said the ministry has assigned 20 more hospitals in all the regions to look after patients.


G20 ministers discuss preserving environment

Saudi Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley. (Photo/MEWA/Twitter)
Updated 19 September 2020

G20 ministers discuss preserving environment

  • Ministers discussed methods to reduce land degradation and conserve biodiversity

RIYADH: Tackling land degradation and habitat loss, and conserving coral reefs were among the items discussed at a meeting of G20 environment ministers.
The aim of the gathering was to strengthen policy cooperation toward safeguarding the planet’s ecosystems and biodiversity, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.
During the meeting, chaired by Saudi Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, ministers focused on land and marine environment-related issues and the conservation of natural resources.
They also discussed methods to reduce land degradation and conserve biodiversity.