Special US kits brought to Bahrain for virus tests
Manama, April 15, 2014
Thousands of specialist testing kits have been shipped in to Bahrain from the US to test for any possible outbreak of the killer coronavirus.
The Health Ministry revealed yesterday that it had bought 2,000 of the kits, which test for symptoms of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (Mers-Cov), from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Mers-Cov has claimed the lives of 68 people in Saudi Arabia alone since the first case was reported in the country in September 2012 and kills about half of the people it infects, according to CDC.
However, Health Ministry primary care and public health assistant under-secretary Dr Mariam Al Jalahma made moves to reassure the public yesterday by stressing that all measures were being taken to prevent any outbreak of the deadly virus here in Bahrain.
“Bahrain continues to be free from the coronavirus and we have got testing kits from the CDC,” she said on the sidelines of a press conference at the Health Ministry’s headquarters in Juffair.
Public Health Laboratory chief Amjah Ghanem added that 2,000 testing kits were being used to examine swabs taken from patients who displayed Mers-Cov type symptoms in Bahrain.
“All the tests we have conducted so far on different age groups have come back negative,” said Ghanem.
“We follow all the guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation and test around 10 samples a day that are related to patients showing influenza symptoms.”
The GDN reported in October that the Health Ministry was beefing up preventive measure to avert any potential outbreak by stressing the need for people to wash their hands with soap regularly, cover their mouth and nose when coughing and get rid of used handkerchiefs in waste bins.
The ministry also urged people to avoid hugging patients showing flu-like symtoms. – TradeArabia News Service