Tunisian dies of coronavirus after KSA, Qatar visit

Updated 26 May 2013

Tunisian dies of coronavirus after KSA, Qatar visit

TUNIS/JEDDAH: A 66-year-old Tunisian man has died from new coronavirus, a strain of a virus that emerged in the Middle East last year, after a visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Tunisian health ministry said on Tuesday.
Ministry spokesman Ibrahim Labassi said the man, a diabetic, died in hospital in the city of Monastir.
“Tests showed that his two children were infected by the same virus and they are under medical observation,” Labassi said.
Tunisia's three cases brings to 44 the total number of confirmed infections worldwide, and the global death toll to 22, since the coronavirus was first discovered by scientists in September 2012, according to official reports received by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Of the 22 deaths, 16 were in Saudi Arabia.
The novel coronavirus, also known by the acronym nCoV and as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, or MERS, belongs to the same family as viruses that cause common colds and the one that caused a deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, killing about 800 people, mostly in Asia.
In addition to Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, nCov or MERS cases have so far been reported in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Britain, Germany and France.
The latest death due to coronavirus in Saudi Arabia was confirmed on Monday by the Ministry of Health. In a statement, the MOH said the fatality was one of the patients being treated at a hospital in Al-Ahsa.
It said the victim was "suffering from chronic heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure, in addition to kidney failure."
Saudi Arabia remains the center for the new respiratory virus as investigators from the World Health Organization (WHO) seek more clues about its origins and how it is spread.
Most of the infections in the kingdom were in Al-Ahsa and a few were reported in Jeddah and Riyadh, said the MOH.
The latest to be diagnosed in the kingdom with nCov was an 81-year-old woman, who taken ill on April 28, 2013 and is currently in critical but stable condition.
A WHO statement, quoting a Saudi MOH report, said the patient has multiple coexisting medical conditions.

— Additional input from Reuters/AP

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.


• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.