Fakeih visits more hospitals as WHO reviews Saudi data

Fakeih visits more hospitals as WHO reviews Saudi data
Updated 13 May 2014

Fakeih visits more hospitals as WHO reviews Saudi data

Fakeih visits more hospitals as WHO reviews Saudi data

The Ministry of Health has issued an advisory stating that face masks should be worn by patients who have been diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as well as people who come into regular contact with patients, such as family members and medical staff.
The advisory, issued via SMS to residents, followed a meeting held between local and international experts in Riyadh about the virus, which killed another six people on Saturday and infected seven others, the ministry announced.
Six other MERS patients reportedly recovered the same day.
The deaths were reported in Jeddah, Riyadh and Madinah, while new cases have been diagnosed in Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah.
Acting Health Minister Adel Fakeih, meanwhile, called on coronavirus patients in Madinah’s hospitals.
Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general for health security at the World Health Organization (WHO), said team members, who had just returned from the Kingdom, were still sorting through the data shared by the Saudi Health Ministry.
According to reports in foreign media, Fukuda called for the need to test not just sick people, but seemingly healthy individuals, for the MERS infection.
He said the sweeping surge in MERS cases over the past five weeks appears to be due, in large part, to problems with infection control mechanisms at some of the Kingdom’s hospitals.
Fukuda said Saudi officials cooperated fully with the WHO team during their visit.
Sami Badawood, Jeddah Health Affairs director, said the ministry is doing its best to spread awareness about the coronavirus.
Badawood said: “Though a cure has yet to be found for MERS, recovery rates are improving. Around 30 percent of patients have been fully cured from the disease.”
“Spreading awareness about the do’s and dont’s involved in fighting this virus is of utmost importance,” he said. “Taking correct precautionary measures is important and the Health Ministry is using every media channel to spread awareness among members of the public.”
He said: “Even on the community level, doctors are visiting schools and advising children on how to avoid catching the virus.”
MERS symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, nose and throat congestion and, in some cases, diarrhea.