WHO: No Saudi travel curbs over coronavirus

Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director-General, Health Security and Environment, from the US speaks during a press conference about the World Health Organization, WHO, at the headquarters of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, in this Oct. 23, 2014 photo.

Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director-General, Health Security and Environment, from the US speaks during a press conference about the World Health Organization, WHO, at the headquarters of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, in this Oct. 23, 2014 photo.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is still abiding by its decision to not impose any restrictions on personal travel or commercial movement to and from the Kingdom, despite a recent report of the Ministry of Health that 12 more cases of MERS coronavirus have been detected. Five of the cases resulted in death between Oct. 18 and 26.

In an official statement, WHO claimed that based on the current statement and information available, the organization is encouraging all member states to continue to keep tabs on acute respiratory infections and review any unusual patterns carefully.

The organization also called on member states to take preventative measures against infection to prevent the possible spread of the virus in health care facilities, especially as it is not easy to identify patients suffering from the virus.

Officials from the organization also issued an advisory saying that people with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease and HIV are more susceptible to the infection and should avoid close close contact with animals, especially camels, when visiting farms and markets.

WHO also called for monitoring food hygiene practices and avoiding consumption of camel milk or uncooked meat. Recently, six cases were recorded in Taif, four in Riyadh, one in Medinah and one in Sakaka, with patients’ ages ranging from 17 to 75 years. According to the report of the geographic location of these cases, none of the patients had contact with camels or with any products consumed by these animals.

The WHO has been informed of 897 confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide, of which 325 cases resulted in death.

Gregory Hartel, WHO’s official spokesman, said last week that he was unaware that the Kingdom had reported to the organization the recent developments regarding the virus.

 
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