MOH News

MOH: 'Coronavirus Cases Decrease in April Compared to the Same Period Last Year'
03 May 2015
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has declared a remarkable decline in the incidence rate of the Middle East respiratory Corona virus (MERS-CoV) in the month of April, at a rate of more than 97%, compared to the same period last year in 2014. The highest level of Corona infected cases was recorded in the past year in Apri,l reaching 279 cases, while the number of cases did not exceed 8 cases in April of this year.
MoH confirmed that incidence of the disease has continued to go down for the sixth consecutive week throughout the Kingdom. 
Only three cases were recorded during the past week, two of whom did not show standard case symptoms, during the period 7 to 13 Rajab 1436 (18th international week), said Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Saeed, Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, and Chairman of Command and Control Center (CCC).
Despite the marked decline, Dr. Bin Saeed reemphasized that we are still in MERS-CoV season, and that, as a result, the Ministry will continue to maintain current levels of preparedness. Efforts in combating the virus will continue, with particular emphasis on cooperation with all other parties – especially the general public and healthcare providers, who represent the cornerstone of the disease combat.
During the same period, the MoH laboratories tested 986 samples of Corona virus, the Rapid Response Team made 7 visits to medical facilities to inspect infection prevention and control, and the Public Health team made 1 visit to positive, direct cases. The number of those in direct contact with MERS-CoV positive cases is 7. Meanwhile, the Ministry has launched a public awareness campaign under the theme: ‘We Can Stop It’. Recent estimates indicate that 552 cases from the total of 982 confirmed cases (accounting for 56.2 percent) have been cured.

According to Dr. Bin Saeed, the Ministry of Health’s CCC will continue to make every effort to control the virus, including epidemiological surveillance. The CCC ensures the commitment of all government and private healthcare facilities to applying infection control procedures, based on international best practices derived from coordination with relevant governmental and international health bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO).


Also, in close coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health spares no effort to implement MERS-CoV awareness campaigns among camel owners and herders.


Dr. Hael Abdali, Director General of infection control in health facilities, said that the reason for the increased rate of incidence among community groups in the last two months might be attributed to the camels breeding season, especially given that this season usually corresponds to the cold months: November, December and January. Therefore, newly born camels have less immunity, and thus are more prone to infection than older camels. The incidence rises dramatically, and thus becomes a source of infection.


Dr. Al Abdali added that camels persons in direct contact with may be infected without showing MERS-CoV symptoms, because of their strong immunity system. Therefore, they may carry the virus and transmit it to others who have a weaker immunity system, which causes the onset of MERS-CoV symptoms, especially if they do not commit to preventive and precautionary measures.


The direct contact with infected people is also one of the major sources for infection transmission, especially among the elderly and those who suffer from chronic diseases such as heart, pulmonary and kidney diseases, or those who suffer from immunodeficiency.






Last Update : 06 May 2015 09:33 AM
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