No cases of Chinese coronavirus detected in Saudi Arabia

Passengers wear protective masks to protect against the spread of the Coronavirus as they arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport. (AFP)
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Updated 23 January 2020

No cases of Chinese coronavirus detected in Saudi Arabia

  • Indian nurse infected with MERS coronavirus but not the Chinese strain that has killed 18 people

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia said Thursday there have been no cases in the Kingdom of the coronavirus that has killed 18 people in China.

Earlier, India’s minister of state for external affairs V. Muraleedharan said an Indian nurse working at a hospital in southwestern Saudi Arabia had been infected and was being treated.

However, India’s consulate in Jeddah said it had spoken with Tarik Al-Azraqi, chairman of the Scientific Regional Infection Control Committee in Asir Region, and that the woman is suffering from a different strain of the coronavirus to the one that originated in Wuhan.

The woman “is suffering from MERS-CoV and not 2019-NCoV (Wuhan),” the consulate tweeted. 

Saudi Arabia’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there were no cases of the Chinese novel coronavirus so far.

Muraleedharan said about 100 Indian nurses “mostly from Kerala working at Al-Hayat hospital have been tested. 

The woman effected by the Mers coronavirus is being treated at Asir Central Hospital and is recovering well, he said.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia said it would screen travelers arriving from China.

The SARS-like virus that emerged in Wuhan has infected more than 630 people and has been detected in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and the United States, but not in India or Saudi Arabia.


US State Department calls Saudi Arabia ‘important strategic partner’

Updated 25 February 2020

US State Department calls Saudi Arabia ‘important strategic partner’

  • The comments come following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the Kingdom
  • Pompeo discussed regional issues with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Monday said Saudi Arabia was an "important strategic partner" and paid tribute to the "historical relations" between the two countries.

The comments come following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the Kingdom during a tour of Middle East and African countries last week.

The State Department added that Pompeo discussed regional issues with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and said the US-Saudi Arabia relationship was a "distinct" one that went beyond confronting Iran.

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It also said that the situation in Syria was "catastrophic," while calling on Russia and Iran to do more to protect civilians and saying there was no military solution to the conflict in the country.

The department also spoke about the situation in Iraq, saying the Iraqi Prime Minister-designate, Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, must include the Kurds and Sunnis in the formation of a government.

The US said that Iran was responsible for aggression against its interests in Iraq and said it would prevent Iraqi militias from attacking the Green Zone.