MERS kills three more, toll hits 457

Updated 18 June 2015

MERS kills three more, toll hits 457

RIYADH: The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) corona virus claimed the lives of three people on Monday and Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 457 in the Kingdom.
The deceased included two Saudi men from Hofuf and Thurabah respectively. The Kingdom has now dealt with 1,034 cases. There are nine people receiving treatment at local hospitals.
Sri Lankan medical experts have taken steps to conduct medical checks on passengers arriving at the Bandaranaike International Airport from Monday.
Palitha Maheepala, director general health services, said that the Health Ministry had set up special medical units at the airport to test passengers from South Korea and west Asian countries.
Maheepala said the first confirmed case had been reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It was not certain whether the infections were due to a single zoonotic event with subsequent human-to-human transmission or whether there were multiple geographic sites of infection representing multiple zoonotic events from an unknown source, he said.
He said the evidence available to date suggests that the virus had been present in bats for some time and spread to camels by the mid 1990s. The virus appeared to have spread from camels to humans in the early part of the decade, he said.
People with underlying health conditions such as heart conditions, diabetes, kidney diseases, respiratory diseases, and the elderly should avoid close animal contact when visiting farms and markets, Maheepala said.
Health Ministry Spokesman Khalid Al-Mirghalani said the ministry has opened a 24-hour hotline on 937 to help the members of the public on any matters related to the MERS disease. He said callers would be assured of confidentiality.
He said there are three major hospitals in Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah that have been designated as centers of excellence to treat MERS patients. In addition to these facilities, he said the ministry has assigned 20 more hospitals in all the regions to look after patients.


Saudi anti-graft agency probes 105 corruption cases in different sectors

Updated 08 July 2020

Saudi anti-graft agency probes 105 corruption cases in different sectors

  • A Nazaha official said the Kingdom will continue to pursue cases of misappropriation of public money
  • The cases involved fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption

RIYADH: The Saudi Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has initiated 105 corruption cases in the health, interior, power, and education sectors.
The cases involved fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption.
A Nazaha official said the Kingdom will continue to pursue cases of misappropriation of public money and harming state interests.
One of the cases involves the arrest of three employees working at the Saudi Electricity Co. for receiving a bribe amounting to €535,000 ($604,570) from a French company and opening bank accounts in another country (at the request of the company) for money laundering. Another case is the arrest of a university faculty member for asking for a bribe amounting to SR80,000 ($21,328) from a number of companies working on different projects at the university.
The authority also arrested a doctor at the Ministry of Health for violating the regulations at a quarantine facility.
A brigadier general was arrested for using his official vehicle to facilitate the passage of another private vehicle through security points during the curfew period.