Credit Saudi MOH
The recent spike in Saudi MERS cases (61 cases in the past 16 days) – during what is normally a quiet time of the year for coronavirus reports, and just a little over a month before the Hajj – has caused a good deal of consternation both in the public, and the Saudi Ministry of Health.
Roughly 2 weeks ago, in response to public criticism over their handling and isolation of patient contacts, the MOH issued a rare statement on a large family cluster of cases.
At the time, the `Riyadh Cluster’ sat a only 7 cases. Since then, they have reported another 50 local cases, and there are no signs that the outbreak is slowing.
In recent days we’ve seen Saudi social media (twitter hashtag ` كورونا‘) grow increasingly critical of the Health Ministry’s handling of the situation, and even some Arabic news media outlets have been less than complementary.
One of the most popular tweets appears to be this poster of the 6 Ministers of Health who have reigned since MERS first appeared in 2012, with the caption `Six Ministers and still
#كورونا remain and expand ‘.
Today the Ministry of Health has posted a very long (1300 words+) statement that that it obviously hopes will help minimize the public’s concerns. An early look at its reception in Arabic twitterverse suggests it isn’t entirely successful.
(Note: I’ve switched to the Bing Translation for this statement, as the Google version introduced some `ambiguities’. Alas, none are perfect, as each machine translator adds its own quirks. My thanks to Dr Ilham Abuljadayel for the assist.)
Minister of Health: Corona virus is relatively limited and cases of Riyadh single source and seek to control it
04 November 1436
His Excellency Minister of health Mr. Khalid Bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, the current proliferation of HIV/AIDS Middle East respiratory "SK" relatively limited and that all cases have been recorded recently in Riyadh is a mono source and strive to rapidly and professionally to control adding dependants in letters addressed to the community while meeting with executives of hospitals and health facility in Riyadh, the Ministry said that his Ministry will continue to approach to transparency in dealing with community and media through health status statement and Declaration of the confirmed cases after proving positive will There are many scheduled meetings with health sectors and our partners in the media through press releases and conferences and meetings.
Faleh drew that vigilance in such situations, and do not want to overstate the reassurance and confidence which have negative effects, but at the same time, I wish to emphasize that this is not the first case of the outbreak of Corona in Saudi Arabia and we are confident that the strict application of infection control systems adopted by the Ministry of health has in the past successfully thanks be to God control and will succeed, God willing now to control the disease.
Increased: current data and status quo and preparations by the Ministry in cooperation with its partners in other health sectors calls for confidence and there is no need to worry, there is no guide to close schools or banned from going to public places and nature life, certain to everyone to exercise caution when mixing those with respiratory illnesses and adherence to infection control practices in health facilities, notably refraining from visiting inpatient infectious diseases in hospitals as possible and follow instructions for personal protection With care and attention during the visit and application awareness messages advocated by the Ministry of health.
He noted that cases of children with HIV have been few and limited, and that the virus is not transmitted in the air often but by direct contact to infected patients, and the most susceptible to complications are chronic diseases also said.
He stressed that the health sector possesses accumulated expertise and has successful experiences and lessons learned from some of the areas where outbreaks were recorded which enabled and enhanced the capacity of the health system to deal with it, and would be able to deal with the current situation quite successfully.
His Excellency assured during the press conference, citizens and residents to register cases remains limited and confined to close contacts of the initial state and there is no evidence of any other outbreaks within Riyadh or outside at the moment. Calling on everyone to remain vigilant and at the same time not excessive concern.
Minister of Health said they expect continued recording the number of cases linked to the current outbreak and may reach other hospitals, stressing his Excellency readiness Ministry of health hospitals and other health sectors in Riyadh to work under a unified system of expected cases with strict application of infection control measures to prevent the spread of disease within and outside health facilities.
His Excellency Minister of health Mr. Khalid Bin Abdulaziz Al-Faleh was confident in overcoming the health sector which operates as one integrated and harmonious system of viral outbreaks of AIDS Middle East respiratory virus "SK" in Riyadh and the resulting emergence of cases in more than one hospital. Pointing out that the city of King Abdulaziz National Guard Department has faced over the past few weeks if an outbreak of the virus began one krone and then spread through contact either direct contacts or health practitioners.
The continuous cooperation of the clock between the command and control center of the Ministry of health and other health sectors to evaluate procedures for infection control within healthcare facilities and developed to curb the spread of the virus inside and outside the facility.
Minister of health attributed the emergence of some outbreaks in health sectors during the past three years to gaps in the application of strict infection control procedures in health facilities. He stressed the continuing need to assess compliance and follow-up of performance and repeat visits to field teams for health facilities in all sectors without exception.
His Excellency announced that in the framework of cooperation and coordination between all the health sectors in the Kingdom to visit King Abdulaziz Medical City in the National Guard to check on inpatients and procedures to control the disease, noting that the Emergency Department was closed the hospital and some clinics and non-emergency procedures as a precaution, while other departments services offered normally for patients and visitors. , Adding that efforts were now focused on limiting contacts and examined according to the approved Protocol in addition to the isolation of suspected and confirmed.
And the Ministry's preparations to prevent the emergence of the virus during the Hajj season confirmed that the Ministry has completed its preparations and prepared a comprehensive prevention plan starting at ports of entry through the regions of pilgrimage until the return of pilgrims to their homes unharmed will God through equipping health facilities scattered throughout the Hajj therapeutic and preventive, adding that the Ministry generally over the past years harness all energies to prevent hospitality to any contagious disease and will continue the same approach this year.
Showing Ma'aleh no cases in previous seasons of Hajj, praise be to Allaah, and that the facilities of the Ministry in the Holy formatted with potential for rapid diagnosis, and isolation of cases.
Noting that the Ministry has to activate the role of Center crowd and the formation of the advisory scientific centre to support experience in dealing with this virus.
In reply to a question on the success of the Republic of South Korea