MOH News
Dr. Al-Assiri: “Coronavirus Does not Spread Easily among Humans, and Needs Direct Contact”
14 April 2014
The Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for Preventive Health, and member of the Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Abdullah al-Assiri, mentioned that the said committee has affirmed that “coronavirus does not spread easily among humans, and needs direct contact with a pneumonia patient.
To date, no cases have been found associated with human agglomerations, as is the case in Hajj and Umrah, or in schools, stadiums, etc.”
Speaking of the impact of climatic changes in the Kingdom on the increase of Corona incidence, Dr. al-Assiri mentioned that this has not been proven thus far. “However,” he said, “we faced an increase in the corona cases at almost the same time last year, by the end of the winter.”
And answering a question on the reason behind the return of the virus now, he pointed out that the virus has not disappeared; there are corona cases recorded each month, and announced by the Ministry of Health once confirmed.
In interaction with the callers of the National Center for Health Information and Awareness, Dr. al-Assiri answered the questions put forth via the Center's toll-free number: 8002494444, and the MOH's account on Twitter: @SAUDIMOH, by affirming that no hospitals have been closed in Jeddah owing to the coronavirus. Rather, there was a coordination to direct some ambulatory cases to other hospitals to allow the medical crews at King Fahad Hospital to soundly treat the cases they were working on, and right now they are working at full capacity. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is doing its best to deliver sound health information through its official channels and social networks.
According to Dr. al-Assiri, “The Ministry is thinking of two main trends for prevention of Corona prevalence: the first is through coordination between the concerned ministries to identify the spread of the virus among animals, and the characteristics of the animals carrying and transmitting the virus, and accordingly taking the necessary precautions. The other trend has to do with the accurate and precise diagnosis of the infected cases, quarantine, and treatment, with the aim of preventing the virus from transmission to those in contact the patient, and health workers. That is to be added to taking strict precautions aiming at infection control at health facilities.”
In conclusion, Dr. Abdullah al-Assiri mentioned that developing an anti-corona vaccine is a technological tough mission, notwithstanding the current endeavors in that respect. Therefore, the current efforts are centered on the prevention and assessing the available therapeutic methods, while research on developing the vaccine is underway.

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