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Members of the Scientific National Committee for Infectious Diseases: Health Situation in Jeddah Is Assured, May Allah be Praised
15 April 2014  
​The members of the Scientific National Committee for Infectious Diseases affirmed that the health situation in Jeddah is assured, May Allah be praised, and that the mass cases that appeared in Jeddah go along with the nature of the disease as it could trigger mass incidence. And the disease type does not differ from the rest of the Kingdom's regions where the virus appeared.
 
Even more, the preparations of the facilities and hospitals conform with the national and world standards of fighting the virus, and they do not need additions for their readiness, as well as providing all the devices and supplies required for dealing with the cases.
 
This came as part of the inspection visit made by a team of the Scientific National Committee for Infectious Diseases, who represent a number of the health sectors of Jeddah's hospitals outside and within the Ministry of Health (MOH).
 
This is with the aim of having a look on the health situation and the readiness of these hospitals as regards Coronavirus. Further, they hold a meeting with a host of the health practitioners working for these facilities.
 
Within the same vein, in his office in the Jeddah governorate headquarters, today's morning, his Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah, with the attendance of the Vice Minister for Health Affairs, Dr. Mansour al-Hawasi and the Vice Minister for Planning and Development, Dr. Mohammed Khoshaim met with a team of the Scientific National Committee's members.
 
The meeting discussed the latest developments in the governorate, as well as the efforts exerted by the MOH; in order to renew and emphasis the communication with the world companies manufacturing the vaccines and research centers; with the aim of manufacturing an effective vaccine for the disease, and the readiness of the MOH and the National Scientific Committee to cooperate in this field.

Further, the Minister of Health had a look on the MOH's report on the Coronavirus since its appearance. To that effect, the report demonstrated that the Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) comes under the novel viruses just like the other novel viruses that the human has not known before.
 
They are triggered by a cause not known to the humanity such as the appearance of the H1N1 flu virus in 2009 and SARS virus in 2003.
 
These diseases have proven difficult dealing with them and take quite a time until the scientists identify them, determine their source of infection and their ways of transmission, and manufacture drugs for treating them, and produce preventive vaccine for them.
 
As such, this goes for the Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV), which has not been known by humanity before.
 
In June, 2012, the first Coronavirus-related was reported in the Kingdom for a patient coming from Bisha for treatment in Jeddah.
 
He was suffering from respiratory problems. A sample was taken from them and sent to Europe-based laboratories. The result showed that the cause is related to a novel virus of the Coronavirus strain.
 
This prompted the MOH to invite the members of the National Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases, made up of advisors on infectious diseases, family and community medicine, and public health medicine.
 
These advisors belong to all the Kingdom's health bodies such as Ministry of Defense, Ministry of National Borders, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, College of Medicine King Saud University, King Faisal Specialized Hospital, and Saudi Aramco Hospital.
 
Such a Committee approved the preventive policies adopted by the MOH which started with conducting the epidemiological surveillance to the disease in all the Kingdom's regions and equipping the reference laboratories in Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Madinah, and Makkah; to receive the samples.
 
In like manner, the report underscored that the virus has been reported in several countries in the Middle East region.
 
Thus , the MOH and the National Scientific Committee consulted experts and specialists from the World Health Organization (WHO), international bodies, and world universities, and some of them took part with the MOH in studying this virus ,on real ground.
 
As regards the epidemiological monitoring history, the report mentioned that the virus has started out with reporting individual, separate cases or few mass ones among the same family members, without infection transmission, such as the case reported in Bisha, and separate cases in Riyadh.
 
In April, 2013, for the first time, spates of Coronavirus-related cases were reported in some hospital in Al-Ahsa, among individuals with weak immunity, leading to transmitting the infection among some patients.
 
Then, few cases were reported in the Eastern Region, and some cases were recorded in the Saudi Aramco Hospital. The cases reported in Al-Ahsa and Eastern Region were put under control.
 
The second half of March, 2014 witnessed reporting some cases in the King Fahad Hospital in Jeddah, bringing the cases reported since that period up to 26 ones, in addition to two cases recorded prior to that period.
 
Meanwhile, MOH-related teams are working now and around the clock, and are conducting and completing the infection control measures and sterilizing the delicate places.
 
In a similar fashion, the report demonstrated that the MOH has put the virus under surveillance and takes all the necessary measures in terms of dealing with it.
 
Even more, the report underlined that the MOH does not announce the Coronavirus-related cases until they are confirmed and re-tested in several domestic and international laboratories to have the results confirmed.
 
Given that there is no a preventive vaccine forthcoming for this virus nor qualitative treatment, and its source of infection has not been identified yet.
 
Neither have ways of infection transmission been identified so far.
 
Similarly, researches on pinpointing the basic infection source are underway, to the effect that samples were taken from the camels and their herdsmen in several regions in the Kingdom in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, and the results of these researches will come out when they have finished, Allah willing.
 
As for the epidemiological surveillance of the novel Coronavirus The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - (MERS-CoV), the committee highlighted that the total number of affirmed cases reached 194 cases till now, 69 of them passed away, with a death rate of 35%.
 
Until recently, the mortality rate hit about 60%, whereas the global death rate recorded 41.5%.
 
Out of all provinces, 12 regions recorded positive cases.
 
Riyadh came on top of all provinces with 82 cases (42.2%), then Jeddah with 28 cases (14.4%), al-Ahsa with 25 cases (12.8%), and the Eastern Region with 23 cases (11.8%).
The Distribution of Cases in Regions and Governorates:
Region​ Cases​
​Al-Ahsa ​25
​Asir ​7
​Bisha ​1
​Eastern Region ​23
​Hafar al-Batin ​11
​Jeddah ​28
​Al-Jouf ​2
Madinah​ ​7
​Najran ​1
​Qassim ​2
​Riyadh ​82
​Taif ​5
​Total ​194

As for the gender and nationality, the committee noted that the large number of affected cases was recorded amid males with 127 cases (65.5%), and then females with 67 cases (34.5%).
 
Also, 185 cases (81.5%) were recorded amid Saudis and 36 cases (18.5%) were amid the non-Saudis.
 
Speaking about the virus spread at the health sector, the committee highlighted that since the outbreak of the virus in 2012, 39 positive cases were recorded at the Defense Ministry, 30 cases at the Ministry of National Guard, four cases at the Interior Ministry, five cases at the university hospitals, 14 cases at the Saudi Aramco Co, 20 cases at the private sector, and 10 cases at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh and Jeddah.
 
It is worth mention that the cases, which have been recorded at the Health Ministry's hospitals, include the patients and their contacts, whether they are hospitalized at MOH's hospitals or those of the other sectors.
​Health Sector Cases​
​MOH Hospitals (Positive Cases & Contacts) ​72
​Defense Ministry ​39
​National Guard ​30
​Interior Ministry ​4
​Saudi Aramco ​14
​Private Sector ​20
​University Hospitals ​5
​King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh and Jeddah ​10
Total​ ​194
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