MOH News

MOH: Experts Examine 2000 Specimens of Suspected Coronavirus Weekly
25 March 2015
The Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed that its experts and technicians are persistently working for examining more than 2000 specimens weekly during this year, 2015, compared to 100 specimens weekly during the same period of last year, 2014. In a press release, the MOH pointed out that the examination of the specimens, which is carried out in well-equipped laboratories, aims at detecting infected cases earlier and raising level of preventive measures against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), in addition to ensuring the safety of members of community and practitioners. 
In the meantime, the MOH continues cooperation and coordination with a team from the US-based leading Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), within the framework of its plan to increase effectiveness of the virus control, according to the highest international standards.
John Watson, the epidemiologist leading a CDC team under the umbrella of the MOH's Command and Control Center (CCC), confirmed that the Ministry is now better prepared than ever to combat the virus, even though the percentage of those diagnosed with the virus in 2015 is higher than that of the persons diagnosed in same period last year, 2014.  
He reiterated the importance of prompting better cooperation between health care centers, laboratories and MOH to increase the level of detecting and observing the cases. He said, "The cooperation efforts and dialogue we see today have reinforced the previous efforts to manage this file in a manner that successfully controls the disease. The efforts of combating are not only restricted to the MOH; the Ministry of Agriculture has also shown its willingness to fully cooperate in the researches and attempts to better identify the virus."
Dr. Watson went on saying that “there are two main ways of MERS-CoV transmission: the first is community-acquired infection, while the second is mostly associated with the health facilities.” He underscored the importance of early diagnosis of pathological cases and their management. He said, "If the early diagnosis and management to prevent the infection are done at the optimal scientifically approved methods, the secondary transmission in the health facilities will not happen. This is mainly attributed to the awareness about the virus and advanced knowledge of infected cases, in addition to consistency between infection control measures and management of cases". He added, "We can reduce the risk of the secondary cases associated with the health facilities; the greater our knowledge of the virus, the better and clearer is our approach to control it."
 According to Dr. Watson, the efforts exerted by the MOH can be successful through the best understanding of infection transmission methods, which will lead to a better guide of combating the infection and reducing its spread. Such understanding is attainable through intensive clinical, epidemiological and laboratory tests of infected cases, in addition to the importance of continued research, locally and internationally, in order to formulate a broader concept of the risks factors of infection with the Coronavirus and development of strategies to combat the infection and then reduce the number of cases in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He expressed his satisfaction over the efforts exerted by the MOH so far, both quantitatively and qualitatively, saying, "The MOH is headed by a leadership of a high level of efficiency, with the availability of an outstanding team of experts. We should praise the collaborative efforts between the ministries in the Kingdom and their full willingness to devote the necessary resources to learn more about the virus and how to control it."   
Speaking of what the public should learn about the virus, Dr. Watson confirmed that there are still unknown and vague aspects of the epidemic caused by this new virus. And while researchers are attempting to understand it, all members of community should follow the simple preventive measures by means of maintaining personal hygiene and washing hands to reduce the likelihood of transmission of any possible infection with the disease, and other respiratory diseases.   
He pointed out that the MOH has prioritized the awareness of the public about the dangers of this virus, confirming the importance of keeping the public fully aware about the latest information, at the time the MOH, in partnership with governmental sectors and international scientific centers such as our center, is carrying out its role in research and acquaintance, which will help them to take the necessary protection measures and reduce the risk of infection.
Within the same vein, the MOH's campaign dubbed "We can stop it" continues its awareness efforts of different segments of the society via various media and social networking sites.

Last Update : 09 April 2015 01:20 PM
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