Shoura to get MERS update from Adel Fakeih

Updated 02 June 2014

Shoura to get MERS update from Adel Fakeih

Acting Health Minister Adel Fakeih will explain to the Shoura Council the emergency measures taken by his ministry to rein in the spread of the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Fakeih will meet the Health and Environment Committee and members of the Shoura Council on Wednesday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The minister will also listen to suggestions made by council members on ways to eradicate the killer infection from the Kingdom.
Muhammad Al-Mahna, Shoura Council spokesman, said Fakeih’s planned visit to the council is part of the ministry’s efforts to combat the coronavirus, which requires support and cooperation from government departments.
Al-Mahna also assured the Health Ministry of the council’s full cooperation in its struggle against the disease, which has killed 187 people in the Kingdom.
An international team of scientists recently said they have identified a compound that can fight the virus.
The team, led by Edward Trybala from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Volker Thiel from the University of Bern, has discovered a compound called K22, which appears to block the ability of the virus to spread in humans.
They first noticed that K22 was able to combat a weak form of the coronavirus that causes mild cold-like symptoms and went on to show that it can fight more serious strains, including SARS and MERS.
In an article for specialist journal “PLOS Pathogens,” the scientists explained that the virus reproduces in the cells that line the human respiratory system.
The virus takes over the membranes that separate different parts of human cells, reshaping them into a sort of armor around itself in order to start its production cycle.
The K22 compound acts at an early stage in this process, preventing the virus from taking control of the cell membranes.
“The results confirm that the use of the membrane of the host cell is a crucial step in the life-cycle of the virus,” the researchers wrote.
Their work shows that “the process is highly sensitive and can be influenced by anti-viral medications."
“The recent SARS epidemic and MERS outbreak mean there should be urgent investment in testing K22 outside the laboratory and developing medicine."
Earlier this month, experts from the World Health Organization gathered in Geneva and confirmed that MERS was spreading but had yet to be declared a global emergency.


Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 26 October 2020

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”