Riyadh: Saudi Health Minister Dr Abdullah Al Rabiah yesterday announced that 13 new cases of MERS had been reported in the country: seven in Jeddah, four in Riyadh, one in Madinah and one in Najran.
“This brings the total number of Coronavirus cases to 257,” Saudi Press Agency quoted Dr Al Rabiah as saying at a press conference. He added that the ministry was making every effort to contain the virus.
The Saudi minister confirmed his Ministry’s readiness to receive Haj and Umrah pilgrims.
Meanwhile, another cluster of cases has been detected in the United Arab Emirates, and a Malaysian who was recently in the Gulf has been confirmed as infected, his country said.
MERS has no vaccine or anti-viral treatment, but international and Saudi health authorities say the disease, which originated in camels, does not transmit easily between people and may simply die out.
Health experts have warned, however, that MERS has the potential to mutate eventually.
Saudi authorities yesterday said that foreign experts would arrive in the kingdom soon to help the government seek a cure for the disease.
The UAE state news agency WAM said late on Saturday that it had recorded 12 new cases of coronavirus infections that were discovered during “routine checks” on people who had come in contact with infected individuals.
WAM quoted the health authority as saying that the patients were being kept in hospital and “did not pose a danger to the public or to patients”. It expected the patients to be rid of the MERS virus within 10 to 14 days.