Filipino nurse dies of coronavirus in Jeddah

Updated 24 May 2014

Filipino nurse dies of coronavirus in Jeddah

A Filipino nurse who was working at a leading private hospital in Jeddah died after she became infected with the coronavirus.
Twenty-eight-year-old Michelle Coloquio was admitted to King Fahd Hospital on May 7 after contracting the deadly virus and died on May 18, according to family sources.
Her body is at the mortuary of King Fahd Hospital pending repatriation to the Philippines.
The Philippine Department Foreign Affairs in Manila on Thursday said Coloquio was the second Filipino nurse to die of MERS in Saudi Arabia.
“Our consul general in Jeddah confirmed that there were two Filipinos who died of MERS,” Foreign Department spokesman Charles Jose told AFP. “The consulate is helping to repatriate their remains.”
The other fatality had earlier been reported by Philippine media as a 45-year-old woman from the central Philippine province of Negros Occidental who worked at the emergency room unit of the King Fahd Medical City in Riyadh.
Last month, the Philippines announced that that one Filipino worker died on April 10 of the disease in the United Arab Emirates.
Several other Filipino health workers working in Saudi Arabia had earlier been reported to have been confirmed to have caught the infection and have undergone treatment.
Filipinos account for a big percentage of foreign workers in the Kingdom’s hospitals.
As a precautionary measure, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh has encouraged Filipinos in the Kingdom, particularly those working in hospitals, to undergo testing for MERS coronavirus.
“The embassy has advised health workers, like nurses, to take the test because they are exposed to patients suffering from coronavirus,” an embassy official explained.

Awareness campaign
Other expatriate groups are also undertaking similar initiatives to help combat the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, the International Indian School-Dammam (IISD) organized a medical awareness campaign for the students and staff members to disseminate information on the coronavirus, ways of infection, precautionary measures and how to keep healthy.
The awareness sessions are expected to last a week. Dr. Aji Varughese, a pediatrician from Badr Al Rabie hospital, conducted two sessions on Wednesday and gave awareness and medical guidance to more than 2,500 students.
In the girls’ section, the campaign was conducted by Dr. Dona Joseph, a general physician with Badr Al Rabie hospital.
Dr. Poonam Paniker from Dar As Sihha Medical Center will also conduct two sessions on MERS on May 25. She will elaborate on the precautions to be taken to prevent the infection from spreading. Varughese in his message to the students put emphasis on maintaining good personal hygiene and washing hands frequently to prevent the spread of the virus.
He also advised the students to avoid large public gatherings and to stay at home if they experience any symptoms of the infection. He suggested that students take nutritious food and regular exercise for optimum health and to boost the immunity.


G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

Updated 20 min 50 sec ago

G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

RIYADH: The trade and investment ministers of the G20 nations met virtually on Tuesday under the presidency of Saudi Arabia to strengthen trade and investment cooperation.
The ministers agreed to continue cooperation to support the recovery of international trade and investment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They also agreed to support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to which the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO provides political support.
Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's minister of investment, said the collective G20 response to COVID-19 had started to deliver early signs of a “resilient, and stable economic recovery.”
“As policymakers, it is our duty to prioritize the most vulnerable in our societies, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and Saudi Arabia stands ready to endorse the G20 policy guidelines for MSMEs,” Falih said.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi told the meeting that measures adopted by the G20 in May were “critical for sustaining the flow of essential goods and services across borders and limiting the human toll of the pandemic.”