MOH News
WHO: 'The World Has Benefited from the Saudi Experience in Combating Coronavirus'
03 March 2014
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the world has benefited a lot from experience of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; due to its efforts in protecting its own people and the international community as a whole against the threats posed by the new Coronavirus disease. WHO also expressed its sincere appreciation for the immense contribution by the Kingdom to expand scope of scientific knowledge and promote understanding of the public health on the potential source of this new virus as well as the related risk factors.
 
This has been mentioned in a speech delivered by the Director of the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr. Alaeddin Al-Elwan, during consultative meeting to map out the plan of public health research concerning Coronavirus which triggers Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The said meeting was held in Riyadh on Sunday and hosted by the Ministry of Health over two days.
 
Moreover, Dr. Al-Elwan added: “In spite of the fact that we have not seen any evidence proving person-to-person transmission of Coronavirus, we would like to reiterate that the threat of this virus to health of the world has expanded to become a reality.” He continued, “We are not sure about the source of this disease,” noting that more than 75 percent of the total confirmed human cases infected by the disease and reported to WHO did not have a history of direct contact with camels or any other type of animals. He also stressed the importance of conducting comprehensive studies and adopting policies to limit transmission of the disease, and consequently the virus itself from its animal source to a human and later to another human. He welcomed all participants in the consultative meeting to set up a research agenda on Coronavirus.
 
The Director of the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean has also expressed thanks to HE Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeah, for hosting this meeting. He said, “I am pleased that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosted this important meeting. It is no secret the world has learnt a lot from the Kingdom about protection of its people and the whole international community against threats of this new disease. I would like also to thank the Kingdom for the active contribution provided to the world to expand scientific knowledge and the concept of public health about potential source of infection as well as way of transmission, risk factors and features of infection with this virus which put the world to maximum alert since its emergence in 2012.”
 
He added, “I would like to thank all colleagues from the other participating countries.” He confirmed that their participation in this meeting embodies the strong commitment and desire about cooperative work with WHO and the other international health organizations to beat the disease and maintain international health security. “I would like also to thank the international health organizations for their participation in this meeting,” he said.
 
He reported that this meeting aims at setting up a final formula for a plan to implement the research on this scientific study, with setting a timetable in addition to some other details related to collecting information and analyzing it as well as explaining and drawing conclusions in a uniform manner across all countries. He said that participation in this research and drawing its outcomes will be of crucial importance in interpreting scientific proofs and setting up a group of health recommendations that may give way to eradicating this virus. He confirmed that successful conclusion of this meeting will send a message that we have committed ourselves to participate and consolidate collective efforts to eliminate this unique virus in a similar way to what happened with SARS disease.
 
For his part, the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, Dr. Ziyad bin Ahmad Mimish, highlighted that the meeting discussed a number of topics related to patterns of transmission of (Coronavirus) that causes respiratory syndrome. He said that the discussion revolved around transmission of the disease to humans to determine epidemiology of the disease and develop effective means of infection control. He added that participants asked many questions around which the debate revolved, including how transmission of the disease occurs from camels to humans, and whether this animal is the major cause of the disease or there are other agents that help transmit the disease, as well as discussing details of the infected cases, and the things done by those infected with the disease before infection transmitted to them.
 
Dr. Mimish pointed out that the World Health Organization commended the leading role of the Kingdom in its studies and research, and in enlightening the community at the level of the world in relation to all developments about the disease, noting that some countries have shown cooperation with the Kingdom to curb the spread of the disease through ongoing studies and research on the disease. He also pointed out that the total number of cases that have been discovered so far reached about 184 cases, including 80 deaths, explaining that a new positive case appeared in Egypt, and studies are underway in some African countries known for production and export of camels such as Nigeria, Somalia, Mauritania and others.
 
The Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health underscored that status of (Coronavirus) is now stable and it is not a cause for concern, and that following the methods of prevention and strengthening the immunity are the most important steps to avoid infection. He added that the ministry is continuing its procedures, notwithstanding stability of the situation; for the safety of citizens in all regions of the Kingdom. He also highlighted that work is continuing to gain access to more information about it at all scientific circles inside the Kingdom and around the world.
 
 
 
 



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