MOH News
Dr. Al-Rabeeah Says no Coronavirus Cases Recorded among School Students, We Are Ready for the Umrah Season
20 April 2014
His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, has announced that 13 new cases of the novel Coronavirus have been recently recorded in the Kingdom’s regions, including seven cases in Jeddah, four cases in Riyadh, one case in each of Madinah and Najran. "Thus, the total number of affected cases reaches 244 ones all over the Kingdom's regions," Dr. Al-Rabeeah said, stressing that the Ministry exerts strenuous efforts to control the situation in the Kingdom. Within the same vein, Dr. Al-Rabeeah highlighted that the MOH is fully ready for the Umrah and Hajj seasons of this year thanks to its remarkable experiences, making it a scientific reference in the mass gathering medicine.
These remarks were delivered during a press conference held early in the day at the MOH's headquarters in the presence of some members of the Scientific National Committee for Infectious Diseases. In the event, the committee members have affirmed that the procedures applied in the Saudi health facilities go in line with the global and domestic standards, stressing that the medical equipments in these facilities are sufficient.
Moreover, Dr. Al-Rabeeah has reassured citizens that no cases were thankfully recorded among school students, considering it a positive index. He further underscored that the incidence rates with Coronavirus among health practitioners have begun to decrease. "Also, the death rates have declined from 60% at the beginning of the outbreak to 35% in the past week and then to 32% today," Dr. Al-Rabeeah said.
"I expect the recorded cases of the novel Coronavirus to increase during the coming weeks due to the intensified epidemic surveillance," Dr. Al-Rabeeah said, revealing that 20,000 cases have been tested so far, showing the magnitude of efforts exerted by the MOH in this domain. Furthermore, Dr. Al-Rabeeah has noted that the Scientific National Committee for Infectious Diseases, which includes in its membership representatives from different ministries as well as health and private sectors, will hold today a conference to brief citizens on all updates regarding the virus.
He further underscored that the Ministry has invited 22 experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), and anti-epidemic centers in Europe, US, and East Asia, as well as experts from the Gulf Cooperation Council, to hold a meeting by the end of this week at the MOH's headquarters to examine the recorded cases and make recommendations in this regard. Also, the Ministry has invited five global companies for cooperation on vaccines after briefing them on the latest information on this virus.
"The total number of affected cases with the novel Coronavirus in Jeddah province reached 64 cases, 12 of them passed away with a death rate of 18%, whereas the overall rate of mortality is 32%," the committee said.
Stemming from the MOH’s keenness to provide all community members, mass media and social networking websites' users, with health guidelines and medical tips on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), as well as briefing them on its updates, the Ministry calls upon everyone to visit the Coronavirus website on the MOH Portal:, or communicate via the toll free number: 8002494444, 937 call center, or Twitter @ SAUDI MOH. Finally, the Ministry of Health wishes all people health and safety.
As regards the medical allegations that the disease could be treated at ambulances, the committee has mentioned that it depends on a purely scientific basis in treating cases, and that such allegations are by no means evidence-based. “We deal with any scientific study or research according to the scientific criteria and standards internationally recognized and approved;” said the committee, “only this kind of studies and researches will be adopted.”
Dr. al-Rabeeah mentioned that the National Committee for Infectious Diseases includes in its membership a number of consultant physicians specialized in the domains of infectious diseases, family and community medicine, and public health, encompassing all the Kingdom's health agencies, namely: the Ministry of Defense (MOD), the National Guard, the Ministry of Interior (MOI), the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Minister of Health (MOH), the Faculty of Medicine at King Saud University, King Faisal Specialist Hospital, and Saudi Aramco. These bodies have approved the preventive policies adopted by the Ministry of Health.
The committee further pointed out that there are MOH teams working around the clock on carrying out the infection control procedures, sterilizing the places that need to, and complete the necessary infection control procedures. The corona cases, according to the committee, have been recorded at the following sectors: the Ministry of Defense, the National Guard, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, as well as the private sector, Saudi universities, and Saudi Aramco. Since the inception of the disease, in 2012, the total of cases has reached 244 cases: the MOH hospitals recorded 103 cases, whereas the MOD hospitals recorded 46 cases, in addition to 30 cases recorded by the MOI hospitals, 6 cases at the Security Forces Hospitals, 6 cases at university hospitals, 14 cases at Aramco hospitals, 26 cases at the private sector hospitals, and 13 cases at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh and Jeddah. It should be noted that the cases recorded at the MOH hospitals include patients and those in contact with them (positive cases), either at MOH hospitals or in other sectors.
The National Committee for Infectious Diseases made clear that there is neither preventive vaccine nor specific treatment for this disease, and that its source is yet to be known. Nor is known the manner of person-to-person infection transmission so far. Research is still underway, by leaps and bounds, to identify the main source of infection. Samples are taken from various regions throughout the Kingdom. Nevertheless, the disease cannot be described as an epidemic; the health emergency committee at the WHO is the committee entitled to declare this.

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