The National Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases held a press conference this morning at the MOH Headquarter, which was attended by the members of the committee, as well as the Scientific Committee for Infection Control at Health Facilities. During this conference, the Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases affirmed that the health situation of pilgrims is reassuring so far, thanks be to Allah.
According to the committee, the Ministry has designated specialized medical crews for all pilgrims entering through the various ports (land, sea and air ports) with the aim of examining those pilgrims and giving them the necessary immunizing vaccinations, as well as ensuring compliance with the health requirements sent to all the countries concerned. These requirements will help, Allah willing, disseminate health safety, and curtail the spread of epidemic diseases among pilgrims.
The committee added that the epidemiological surveillance conducted over the past 24 hours, not a single case has been detected among the pilgrims who have arrived thus far (600.000 pilgrims). There is ongoing cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) to follow up the updates of the disease worldwide.
The committee, represented by its chairman, the Deputy Minister for Public Health, Dr. Ziad Memish, mentioned that Madinah's Regional Laboratory, as well as the laboratory of Mina al-Wadi Hospital, have been added to the laboratories designated to conduct the tests of the novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
This procedure is meant to ensure rapid access to results, and work in coordination with the regional laboratories in Riyadh, Jeddan and the Eastern Region on the cases suspected to be infected with the virus. “Test results will appear within up to four hours,” he said.
According to the committee's estimate of the number of Coronavirus cases registered so far, there are 114 Coronavirus cases, of whom 49 cases ended up dead. The committee pointed out that, even though committed to transparency, ongoing communication with the community, and updating people with all updates, it pays thorough attention, in the meantime, to the privacy and confidentiality of the patient.
In this spirit, it doesn't keep any information about the patient other than those necessary to identify him, thus complying with the applied medical norms. Meanwhile, it communicates with mass media now and then to keep them always updated with the latest information about surveillance of the disease.