MOH News

MOH's Statement on the Latest Developments Regarding Coronavirus
01 October 2012
   The National Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases has continued to hold its meetings on coronavirus and the latest about it, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Health, presided over by the Deputy Minister for Public Health, and with its members attending, which consist of representatives of all the governmental health sectors, as well as representatives of the health services of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Education, King Faisal Specialist Hospital, the National Guard Hospital and King Saud Hospital.
The Committee has assured all the citizens and residents, as well as Hajj pilgrims, that the health condition as far as this virus is concerned is safe. It followed that the chairman of the Committee has reviewed the latest developments and information on coronavirus registered cases, and the discussions it has had with the international organizations on such an issue. Also, the discussions have touched upon the description and definition of the virus, ways of infection transmission, and the procedures that can be taken at the Kingdom's health facilities, as well as the land, sea and air ports. However, all the Committee's members have agreed that the available information on the virus is still too limited to judge how virulent and rampant it is.
The Committee has pointed out that the information available confirms that the virus is limited in terms of its spreading, and it is thought that it is transmitted through sneezing spray, like other viruses, affecting the respiratory system. Furthermore, there is no traditional treatment for such a virus, and there is no vaccine or preventive medicine for it. Also, the Committee's members have discussed the definition presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 25/12/2012, and the information available on the virus and its local condition. And it has been agreed on defining the case as follows:
A) Suspected Case:
A patient suffers from acquired acute respiratory distress syndrome in community, and needs to be detained at hospital with high temperature of (38º C) and cough. And it has been confirmed the injury of the lower respiratory system (clinically confirmed pneumonia case with the X-ray image), and there is no any (bacterial, viral) infection or other cause characterized by such symptoms.
B) Confirmed Case:
It is the suspected case which is laboratory-confirmed injury of the new coronavirus. Furthermore, it has been agreed to the importance of circulating the scientific definition of the virus to the entire Kingdom's portals and the health facilities and sectors, in an effort to increase epidemiological monitoring, and the immediate reporting of any suspected pneumonia according to the scientific definition of the disease sent to the Health Affairs Directorate; in line with the applied reporting system of infectious diseases (diseases listed in the first chapter), then to MOH Public Health Agency (fax: 012124611 – 012124056).
That's to be added to taking the proper isolation and prevention procedures applied to viral respiratory system diseases (influenza, RSP) inside hospitals for the suspected detained cases; and taking a respiratory sample from the suspected detained case and sending it to the MOH Referential Laboratories in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam, taking into account the safe ways of sample transporting.
Meanwhile, the Committee has called upon citizens, residents, and pilgrims to adhere to the health guidelines; in order to restrict the spread of influenza in general. And they are:
  • Keeping on washing hands well with water and soap or the other disinfectants used for washing hands, namely after coughing or sneezing.
  • Using the handkerchief when coughing or sneezing and covering the mouth and nose with it, then throwing it away in trash; and if there were not any handkerchief, it is recommended coughing or sneezing in the upper part of the arm and not in hands.
  • Avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with hand as much as you could, as the hand could transmit the virus after contacting the surfaces contaminated with the virus.
  • Putting on face-masks in crowded places during Hajj and Umrah; and replacing them periodically.
  • Maintaining the other healthy habits, such as nutritional balance, physical activity, and having enough sleep.
  • Maintaining general cleanliness.
  • Avoiding getting in contact with the injured as much as you could.
That's to be added to the need to see a doctor when necessary, and follow up the latest of information on the virus released by the Ministry of Health.

Last Update : 06 October 2012 08:58 AM
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