Saudi minister: Hospitals responsible for spread of MERS

The health minister said no precise anti-infection measures are being taken at hospitals

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Coronavirus is spreading either from camels or from hospitals as no precise anti-infection measures are being taken in hospitals, said Saudi Acting Minister of Health Adel Fakeih on Tuesday in Jeddah.

Fakeih was speaking after meeting King Fahd Hospital officials. He said a number of hospitals have been specified in each region to accept coronavirus cases aside from the main centers in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.

He said they are cooperating with foreign companies to develop a vaccine but that will take time. More specialists are coming to the Kingdom to study the ways to deal with the virus, which claimed five more lives in the Kingdom, raising the total death toll to 152 since it appeared in 2012.

Four new infections of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) have been registered, raising the total cases to 495, the Health Ministry said. The ministry added that six patients who had been infected by the SARS-like virus have been cured.

The new deaths occurred on Monday, with one patient dying in Riyadh and the remaining four in Jeddah.

Asked when will they be moving patients to King Abdullah Medical Complex, Fakeih said patients will not be shifted until the hospital is fully ready to deal with coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, a source said that medical teams dealing directly with coronavirus patients will be financially compensated.

In another development, spokesman of the Ministry of Health Khaled Marghalani denied media reports that they have specified graveyards for coronavirus victims.

A section of the Arabic newspaper reported that a coronavirus victim’s family struggled to get him buried.

Mohammad Houli, the brother of the victim, said he found his brother wrapped in a plastic sheet and he was prevented from giving his brother a last kiss. Houli said they were told that only two graveyards in Jeddah namely Al-Garniya and Briman are accepting coronavirus fatalities.