7,700 camels carry MERS virus

7,700 camels carry MERS virus
Updated 10 September 2015

7,700 camels carry MERS virus

7,700 camels carry MERS virus

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that 3.3 percent, or 7,700 out of the 233,000 camels in the Kingdom, are infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.
Forty survey teams and 200 veterinarians examined 32,000 samples from 8,000 animals, with results showing that 81.5 percent of camels are immune to the virus, while 3.3 percent carry or spread it, said Ibrahim Qassem, director general of the ministry’s livestock department.
The ministry held a press conference in Riyadh on Monday about how it was fighting MERS. There was undisputed proof that camels pass the virus to humans, said Qassem, a local publication reported on Tuesday.
Qassem reportedly said research has confirmed the relationship between camels and the virus, but it was likely debate would continue on the issue. He said the ministry was currently working on determining how the virus infects animals initially, including the possibility that they are infected by other animals.
Qassem said that a fatwa was not required to kill animals infected with the virus. If an animal is infected, then the country’s laws allow the government to slaughter it. “The regulations include a list of diseases that may require us to dispose of the infected animal to protect human health or livestock in general,” said Qassem.
Meanwhile, primary school number 84 in Riyadh saw only 20 students turn up for classes after two students were reportedly in contact with a relative who died from the virus.
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry announced three more cases of infections but there were no deaths. A total of 627 people have now died from MERS in the country, out of 1,223 cases.


Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
Updated 25 January 2021

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
  • Saudi Arabia continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been ranked 14th internationally for its COVID-19 university research, rising from its previous 17th ranking, according to the database of the Web of Science.

The Kingdom continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states.

Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for education, for attaching great importance to research and innovation, and for supporting scientists and researchers in Saudi universities to become globally competitive.

He said that this achievement was a continuation of the efforts of the Kingdom in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflected the Kingdom’s capabilities when it came to managing crises.

Al-Sheikh said that Saudi universities had published 84 percent of the Kingdom’s COVID-19 research, and that the Kingdom had published 915 scientific papers by local scientists since the outbreak of the pandemic.

He thanked Saudi universities that contributed to publishing the research papers as well as the faculty members and researchers who were serving their community.

Al-Sheikh said that this achievement reflected the Ministry of Education’s keenness to organize events that enhanced the participation of Saudi universities, research centers, researchers and academics in supporting scientific research during the pandemic.

This was in addition to coordinating the efforts of universities through specialized workshops to improve the efficiency of research and its contribution to fighting COVID-19, discussing ways to prevent and treat the disease, and investing in the research capabilities of the staff of universities and research centers by finding scientific solutions that contributed to addressing the pandemic.