Transparency urged in coronavirus cases

Updated 01 June 2013

Transparency urged in coronavirus cases

A specialist in infectious diseases said that withholding information by the Ministry of Health about the spread of the coronavirus following the deaths of the infected patients is significantly damaging and provides no benefit.
The specialist spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia have the right to accessible information about the disease.
“I do not know why the Ministry of Health discreetly hid the information of the first case of coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, and the infection got to Al-Ahsa region where the disease has appeared and is starting to spread. They bear the responsibility for this,” he said.
The specialist suggested that the reality seems to be withheld from the domestic public opinion, and the public does not know if the ministry has detailed information about the spread of the virus and refuses to disclose it, or whether they have not reached any conclusion. He said the Ministry of Health looks at research centers in Saudi universities as competitors when the relationship with research centers at universities should be a complementary relationship, not competitive. He added that MoH indeed prefers to discover the scientific research on diseases via universities abroad rather than Saudi universities, although there are a number of Saudi universities that enjoy a huge potential and have reference laboratories recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
However, the Ministry of Health refuses to cooperate with them because they perceive them as competitors in spite of their supportive work with the MoH, he said.
He said preventive measures taken by the Ministry of Health lacks transparency, with no announcement about where the spread of infection started and whether it originated in Al-Ahsa or came from abroad. He also noted that ministry did not give any scientific information or details about the reasons for the spread of the virus.
“Unfortunately there are no details and nothing was published except the number of cases and deaths. This is not enough. It does not allow us to investigate the causes of the disease.”
Today, he said, there are more than 30 cases, but there is no clear information about the source of the disease and we do not know the results of the investigations.


OIC delivers COVID-19 emergency medical aid to Afghanistan

Updated 9 min 5 sec ago

OIC delivers COVID-19 emergency medical aid to Afghanistan

  • The aid parcels contain disposable medical masks and protective clothing for quarantine personnel

RIYADH: Emergency medical aid organized under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has arrived at Kabul International Airport, ready to be delivered to the Afghan ministries of foreign affairs and public health to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aid parcels containing disposable medical masks, specialized N95 hospital masks and protective clothing for quarantine personnel were handed over to the Afghan authorities in presence of OIC’s Resident Representative in Kabul. 
Meanwhile the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF), a subsidiary OIC institution aimed at supporting the least developed member states in their response to the pandemic, especially in the health sector, has also delivered a first tranche of emergency financial assistance to Afghanistan.