Bahrain free of Mers virus says expert
Manama, May 1, 2014
Bahrain is free from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), said a top Health Ministry official.
"A total of 489 suspected cases have been examined over the past two years (since 2012) but none tested positive," Health Ministry assistant under-secretary for primary care and public health Dr Mariam Al Jalahma was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The ministry yesterday dismissed allegations on social media websites about MERS-CoV cases in Bahrain.
It urged people not to heed such cyber claims and follow up the ministry's social media account for accurate news.
The ministry has set a series of conditions for people intending to travel to Saudi Arabia for Haj.
It has advised the elderly, people suffering from chronic diseases and pregnant women to put off Haj this year.
The ministry sought to allay fears, describing the situation in Bahrain as "reassuring".
It advised people to avoid wearing face-masks in streets, schools and public places, as they remain restricted to doctors and nurses who examine patients.
Meanwhile, Bahrain attended a key medical conference that concluded yesterday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to discuss MERS-CoV.
The kingdom's delegation included Dr Al Jalahma, anti-infection department chief Dr Adel Al Sayyad and disaster management consultant Dr Osama Awad.
It was recommended to raise the level of epidemiological surveillance and update emergency plans.
The conference cautioned people against coming into close contact with camels, being the original source of the virus.
Experts also advised people not to drink camel milk, unless pasteurised to avert any potential infection.
However, no special precautionary measures were recommended for schools, airports, entry-exit points or work places. – TradeArabia News Service