MOH News
Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Saied: We Should Comply with Instructions and Apply Preventive Measures to Fight Infection
10 February 2015
The Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health and Chairman of the Ministry's Command and Control Center "CCC", Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Saied, appealed to all workers in the health facilities to abide by instructions, apply preventive measures, follow the basics of infection control, comply with measures of sorting respiratory cases at emergency sections and use personal protection equipment as per instructions reported to them by the CCC.
He lauded the decision of the Saudi Cabinet to grant SR 500,000 to families of diseased health workers, who died after contacting the Coronavirus from their hospitals, considering them as martyrs of duty.
During a press conference held by the chairman and members of the CCC today morning (Tuesday), Dr. Saied explained that the Ministry aims at establishing a referential command and control center in every region, including experts and specialized doctors to deal with the disease, noting that the Ministry is keen to control the virus.
He pointed out that the Ministry of Health (MOH), within the framework of the transparency principle adopted by it and as part of its epidemiological surveillance and desire to keep everyone aware of the latest developments of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERC-CoV), the Ministry would like to state that some regions in the Kingdom have recorded sporadic cases of Coronavirus infections since the beginning of this month, February. Also, the ministry expected the number of cases with respiratory diseases, including Coronavirus, to increase during the coming period due to unstable weather.
The MOH, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) and other concerned bodies, continues application of all precautionary and preventive measures needed to deal with the virus through the MOH's Command and Control Center (CCC) in order to maintain the health and safety of all members of the society, Allah willing.
Dr. Saied confirmed that the MOH has adopted the partnership approach with all heath sectors in the Kingdom and regional and international organizations to contain the virus.
He called on everyone to follow health directives put out by the MOH for the prevention of the virus, advising the citizens and residents to adopt the following practices: Washing hands with water and soap, avoiding contact with Corona virus cases, refraining from touching eyes or the nose, coughing in a handkerchief or putting your arm on the mouth when sneezing and then washing hands and the arm thoroughly, avoiding close contact with camels infected with respiratory symptoms and abiding by the preventive measures when dealing with them.
Everyone, especially those with chronic diseases, should avoid direct contact with camels or taking non-boiled or pasteurized dairy products, with the importance of adopting healthy habits in general. For further information on ways of prevention of infection, Dr. Saied advised everyone to visit the MOH's Portal.
On his part, the Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Health, Dr. Abdullah Assiri, pointed out that the MOH, for its wide experiences, was able, thanks to Allah, to control the virus during the Hajj season, when it firmly rejected entry of camels inside Hajj areas and using them as sacrificial animals, in addition to application of strict measures inside the health institutions working in Hajj season.
Dr. Assiri explained that the Ministry has formed specialized teams to evaluate procedures of fighting infection at hospitals and train the health practitioners on mechanisms and standards of sorting cases in order to ensure that the disease is not spreading in these facilities.
He referred to the royal approval to consider the employees of the health sector, who lost their lives after contracting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), as martyrs of duty and pay a grant of SR 500,000 to their family, whether the diseased Coronavirus case was an employee of the public or private health sector, a civilian or even military personnel, including Saudis and non-Saudis, starting from the first recording of infection on 5-7-1434H.
Dr. Assiri said that this came in recognition of the sacrifices made by health practitioners and their efforts in dealing with patients and provision of medical and humanitarian services to curb the spread of the disease, shedding light on the Council of Ministers' decision to form a committee at the MOH, including representatives from the Ministries of Health, Finance and Civil Service with an assignment of developing required procedures to implement the decision.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for Hospitals Affairs, Aqeel bin Gamaan Al-Ghamdi, revealed that the Ministry identified a referential hospital in each region to receive Coronavirus cases and reviewed infection control procedures at health facilities, as well as specifying three reference centers in each of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. He emphasized that the Ministry's efforts to confront the disease is ongoing throughout the year, as regular meetings are held weekly to discuss the health situation and address the emerging issues.
On the other hand, the Ministry's Official Spokesman, Dr. Khaldi Al-Marghalani, stressed that the MOH has launched a big awareness campaign via different mass media outlets to brief citizens and residents on the disease and ways of prevention, and allocated the free phone number (937) to receive their inquiries. Also, the social networking websites were used to spread health awareness about the disease.
On his part, the Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Kingdom, Dr. Hassan Al-Bushra, confirmed that the Ministry deals with the Organization with high transparency, stressing that the WHO is keen to coordinate with the MOH to reduce the number of Coronavirus cases and curb the spread of the disease. He pointed out that awareness of citizens and residents about the disease and reinforcement of surveillance and follow-up mechanisms of cases will, Allah willing, contribute to limiting the emergence of new cases.
Dr. Al-Bushra revealed that a high-level delegation including senior officials at the WHO and representatives of diseases control centers in America and Europe will visit the Kingdom during the period from 17-21 February to get acquainted with the current health situation and follow up measures taken by the Kingdom to face the Coronavirus, for the purpose of coordinating efforts and supporting the taken measures.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of Animal Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Ibrahim Ahmad Qasim, said that the Ministry is working in full coordination with the MOH, as awareness campaigns have been launched at places where camels gather, such as livestock markets and racing fields. Also media campaigns were conducted, during which all breeders, owners and those in close contact with camels were advised to be cautioned, apply prevention measures when dealing with camels and take health procedures, after the studies conducted by the MOH proved the presence of Coronavirus in the respiratory tract of camels.

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