JEDDAH: Educational facilities in Saudi Arabia have updated emergency procedures to counter the threat of coronavirus.
Saudi Minister of Education, Hamad Al-Asheikh on Saturday instructed all education departments, universities and vocational training institutes to activate emergency plans as the number of people worldwide infected with the life-threatening virus continues to rise. Symptoms include high fever, shortness of breath, sore throat and headache. There have been no reported cases in the Kingdom. According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, coronavirus is transmitted through close contact with an infected person without protection. Intensive care and treatment is the best way to deal with infection, it said.
How to protect?
The ministry said that protection against the virus can be increased by avoiding contact with live or dead animals, or animal products, and avoiding contact with people with respiratory symptoms.
If a child develops symptoms, parents should keep them out of school to avoid spreading the virus, the ministry advised.
Meanwhile, Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) stressed the need to take adequate precautions when dealing with resident and migratory animals that can carry fungal disease.
The ministry said that preliminary information indicated that the coronavirus spreading in China is an animal disease, with the main focus on a market containing live animals including bats, rodents and reptiles, in addition to poultry.
Tests carried out in China confirmed that the virus first passed from animals to humans in the market.
The SWA said that the Kingdom lies on the migration paths of many animals coming from areas where certain diseases can be transmitted to humans.
Animals could carry the virus without showing pathological symptoms in some cases, the authority said.
The ministry said that precautionary measures to avoid infection include wearing masks and gloves, washing or disinfecting hands after handling animals and birds or their meat, treating any animal that shows symptoms of sickness with caution, and avoiding migratory birds’ habitats. The ministry urged residents to report any mass deaths of animals on the toll-free number 8002470000.