Three new MERS deaths reported in Saudi Arabia

At least 20 coronavirus cases are currently receiving treatment in various regions of the Kingdom

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Three people in Saudi Arabia have died from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and three others have been infected, Makkah daily reported on Sunday.

The Ministry of Health said two of the deaths occurred in Taif and the third in Riyadh.

It said a new coronavirus case was discovered each in Taif, Riyadh and Al-Jouf.

At least 20 coronavirus cases are currently receiving treatment in various regions of the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, a Saudi man in his 30s escaped from King Faisal Hospital in Taif after he was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The man was undergoing kidney dialysis at the hospital when his infection was discovered.

The man, who was not identified, was put into quarantine but managed to escape before police returned him to hospital.

It is believed he contracted the virus from being in the vicinity of other infected patients who were undergoing dialysis in the same hospital.

Officials at the ministry's department of infectious diseases asked the man’s family if he had returned home.

The family denied he had come back home but then eventually admitted he had returned. However, they refused to take him back to hospital.

The hospital informed police, who took him back to the quarantine section in the hospital, where he is now being kept.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Zaidi, director of the kidney center at King Abdulaziz Specialist Hospital in Taif, said as a precautionary measure anyone accompanying kidney dialysis patients were prevented from waiting for them at the center's waiting room.

He said a total of 406 kidney patients were having their dialysis in the center, which has 58 sets of dialysis equipment in addition to six in the admission rooms and a further 25 in reserve.

Al-Zaidi said the center has 18 consultants and specialists in addition to 72 nurses.

Nurses fined

The Health Ministry has fined 11 Saudi female nurses at King Fahd Medical Complex in Taif a total of SR205,000 for not performing their duties properly toward their patients.

Siraj Al-Humaidan, spokesman for Taif Health Affairs, said the first nurse was fined SR50,000, the second SR45,000 and the third SR30,000.

He said the fourth and fifth nurses were each fined SR12,000 while six others were each fined SR10,000.

The spokesman said investigations proved the nurses neglected their duties toward a number of patients.

He said the punishments, imposed by Health Minister Adel Fakeih, are not related to coronavirus.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Nov. 3, 2014.

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