Credit: Arab News
Via Arab News, a little spin: MERS campaign calms nerves. Excerpt:
Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah joined health authorities in Jeddah in reassuring residents that the coronavirus is under control.
Fear of the coronavirus has since subsided among Jeddah’s residents after panic spread earlier in the week due to rumors going viral on the Web.
The Ministry of Health is fighting misconceptions through social networking sites and awareness campaigns in malls, such as the Aziz and Andalus malls.
An around-the clock ministry division has been deployed exclusively in Jeddah to monitor the spread of the virus.
The awareness campaign was inaugurated by Ahmed Al-Hamza, a senior official at Jeddah’s Health Ministry.
“We were surprised by the turnout of visitors to our stalls,” said Yusuf Al-Otaibi, a supervisor at the awareness campaign. “Most asked for preventive measures against the coronavirus. We have several health experts tasked with communicating with visitors.”
“The campaign was very helpful,” said Bayan Al-Ghamdi, a student. “We realized just to what extent myths circulating on social networking sites are false.”
Mohammed S. Jafri, an employee of a private firm, said he panicked and stayed home from work when he began experiencing cold symptoms. “I was relieved when I was told at a local hospital that these were not symptoms of the coronavirus.”
Employees working in crowded places, such as cashiers, are seen wearing masks.
All very upbeat, but it wouldn't have been necessary if the Saudi authorities had been open and honest from the start of the MERS outbreak. And a few smiles and brochures in the mall won't last beyond the next hospital cases.