Saudi sets up 3 centres to deal with Mers
Riyadh, April 27, 2014
Saudi Arabia has established three specialised centres in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam as the main centres for dealing with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) coronavirus at the level of the kingdom, an SPA report said.
Acting Minister of Health Adel bin Mohammed Faqih said the three centres are King Abdullah Medical Complex in Jeddah, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Hospital in Riyadh and Dammam Medical Complex in Eastern Region.
"This step comes as part of the emergency plan aiming to contain the spread of the virus. A number of medical preventive and curative procedures will be taken," Eng Adel added, stressing that these centres will play an active role in the ministry's plan to counter the virus.
“The three centers can accommodate 146 patients in their ICUs in total isolation from other patients and are equipped with the most modern machinery and laboratories,” said the minister. “They also have excellent outpatient clinics.”
Meanwhile, a Reuters report said Saudi Arabia has confirmed 10 more cases of Mers and said two more people have died from the disease.
It follows Egypt's announcement on Saturday that it had confirmed its first case of Mers in a man who had recently returned to the country from Riyadh, where he was working.
Saudi Arabia, where Mers was discovered around two years ago and which remains the country most affected, has now had 323 confirmed cases of Mers, of which 94 have been fatal.
The 127 cases announced since the start of April represent a 65 percent jump in total infections in Saudi Arabia this month.
The new cases included seven in Jeddah, the focal point for the recent outbreak, two in the capital Riyadh and another in Mecca, the Health Ministry said in a statement on its website.
Many Saudis have voiced concerns on social media about government handling of the outbreak, and last week King Abdullah sacked the health minister.
In Jeddah, some people are wearing facemasks and avoiding public gatherings, while pharmacies say sales of hand sanitisers and other hygiene products are soaring.