Hofuf, which saw a large (40+ cases) nosocomial outbreak of MERS during May and June, reports their 2nd and 3rd hospital acquired case over the past four days. Two are reportedly healthcare workers, while one is listed as a patient.
These three cases come in the wake of two community `primary’ cases reported 6 and 8 days ago, the first of whom is reported to have died today. The source of their infection/exposure is not currently disclosed.
While the Koreans also suffered through an incredibly intense nosocomial outbreak during May and June, once they understood what they were facing, they managed to put an effective cap on it. For reasons that are less than clear – after more than three years of dealing with the MERS virus – Saudi hospitals continue to struggle with containment.
For those keeping count, this makes 14 new MERS cases announced by the Saudi MOH over the past 9 days.
These hospital outbreaks have increasingly vexed the MOH, which has repeatedly issued guidance – and warnings – to medical facilities, but to little avail. Over the past three years, we’ve also seen a revolving door at the Health Ministers office, due in part to these failures.
Overnight the Arab media is reporting the MOH is considering tougher measures.
Published — Monday 26 October 2015
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Health is studying the possibility of enacting tougher norms to protect patients from contracting infections at health facilities, especially the MERS coronavirus, an official was quoted as saying by local media on Sunday.
The Undersecretary for public health and president of the Leadership and Control Center, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saeed, has revealed that the Ministry of Health has said the penalties would include individuals and health facilities, depending on the type, nature and size of the violation.
“The ministry will not be lenient. The punishment could include closure and financial penalties against hospitals that jeopardize people’s health. Hospitals are supposed to protect and treat patients, and not infect them with diseases because of negligence,” he said.