Via Khaleej Times, a very good example of how to insulate bad news in verbal bubble-wrap: Haad announces 8 more cases of Mers coronavirus tested negative. The full report, with the buried lede in boldface:
The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (Haad) announced that 8 more cases in isolation in hospital with Mers coronavirus (MERS-CoV), have tested negative for the virus, and will be leaving hospital soon. With this, the number of negative tested individuals rises to 18.
Haad said that “these 8 cases were confirmed positive through routine screening of contacts, and were kept in isolation at hospitals as a precautionary measure. They were able to clear the virus within 10 -14 days themselves without any treatment.”
It is expected that the other individuals with positive Mers coronavirus currently in isolation in hospitals will likewise soon test negative and be able to go home. They are being tested daily to check on their positive status.
Haad also announced 7 new cases with Mers-CoV. Most of them have either no symptoms or mild symptoms, and are expected to clear virus soon. They have been admitted to hospital for isolation until they clear the virus.
Haad confirmed that “it is coordinating with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and other authorities in the country, and has taken all necessary measures as per international standards and recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO).”
The MoH stated that the WHO confirmed the virus is not a concern for public health at the moment, and that the current situation does not require a travel ban to any country in the world, screenings at different ports, or any restrictions on trade.
The MoH confirmed that “it is monitoring the situation closely to ensure the health and safety of everyone.”
So Haad coughs up eight words of bad news in the middle of good news, and immediately spins away into "no symptoms" or "mild symptoms" without even telling us the gender or age of the cases. Compared with the information firehose Minister Faqih is now wielding next door in Saudi Arabia, this story makes the Emiratis look shabby and shifty.
It's been unclear for several days just know how many of these cases have been reported to WHO, so a reliable MERS case count is impossible.
Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary also has this story, and he is not deceived either.