2nd US case of MERS confirmed; KSA deaths rise to 147

Updated 13 May 2014

2nd US case of MERS confirmed; KSA deaths rise to 147

Five people died and eight were infected with the MERS coronavirus on Monday, bringing the death toll to 147 since September 2012.
The new cases included five women, according to the Health Ministry. Four patients, all women, were diagnosed in Riyadh, while two were reported in Jeddah and two in Madinah. Patients in Riyadh were aged 31, 60, 74 and 80, one of whom died at a private hospital and two of whom are in ICU, while the fourth is said to be stable.
In another development, a man has died in Jordan after being infected with the MERS virus, the government said Monday, on the eve of an important WHO emergency meeting.
The latest death brings to five the number of fatalities in Jordan from the coronavirus since it first emerged in 2012. The man, in his 50s, worked in a private hospital and died on Sunday, the Health Ministry said.
Meanwhile, British and US health authorities said on Monday they had found a second case of the virus in a person who flew from Jeddah to the US transiting through London on May 1.
The passenger, who is the second known MERS infected patient to have flown to the US, was on Saudi Airlines Flight 113 from Jeddah to London, and transferred at Heathrow for onward travel, Public Health England (PHE) said in statement.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the patient is a health care worker employed at a Saudi facility which was taking care of MERS patients. 
A CDC official said the patient traveled from Saudi Arabia to London to Boston to Atlanta to Orlando.
“Risk of transmission is considered extremely low but as a precautionary measure, PHE is working with the airline to be able to contact UK passengers who were sitting in the vicinity of the affected passenger,” the PHE statement added.
Earlier this month a first US case was diagnosed in a man who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana. That man was a health-care worker at a hospital in Riyadh, who flew to the United States on April 24. After landing in Chicago, the man took a bus to Munster, Indiana, where he became sick and went to a hospital on April 28.
The man, an American, improved and was released from the hospital late last week. Tests of people who were around the man have all proved negative, health officials have said.

(With input from Agencies)


King Salman meets GCC leaders for 40th Gulf summit in Riyadh

Updated 10 December 2019

King Salman meets GCC leaders for 40th Gulf summit in Riyadh

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • Among the many issues expected to be discussed is a greater level of integration between Gulf countries

RIYADH: GCC leaders arrived in Riyadh Tuesday for a summit that will focus on improving integration between Gulf countries.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting will be chaired by King Salman, who met the representatives from each country as they landed.

The heads of the delegations including the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani said Gulf leaders will discuss a number of important issues to enhance the process of cooperation and integration among member states in various political, defense, security, economic and social fields.

They will also review regional and international political developments, security conditions in the region, and their implications for the security and stability of the GCC countries.

Among the topics on the agenda is the war in Yemen and Iran’s interference in regional affairs.

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.