Saudi Health Minister: No coronavirus cases in the Kingdom, precautions in place

World Faizah Kamal 26-Jan-2020
China Virus
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The Saudi Minister of Health, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, confirmed that several precautionary measures had been implemented to address the new coronavirus.

The ministry has increased monitoring and control procedures for flights coming to the country directly from China.

Passengers coming to the country from China through indirect flights are being contained and are having their vitals inspected in coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority.

“No cases of infection with the new coronavirus have been recorded in the Kingdom yet,” he added, explaining that coronavirus was an airborne virus transmitted by coughing.

The National Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDC) prepared a health guide to deal with suspected cases. The NCDC provided laboratory tests, set up the mechanism for collecting and transferring samples to NCDC’s national laboratory and issued advice to passengers travelling to areas where the disease had appeared.

The ministry’s Command and Control Centre took precautionary measures as soon as the virus was discovered in China, the minister said.

The ministry has also implemented the international health regulations and coordinated with the relevant authorities to deal with this situation and address it.

The precautionary measures included closely monitoring the epidemiological situation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other available sources. The measures also included coordinating with the Civil Aviation Authority in assessing the direct and indirect traffic to and from China, in order to provide information for people planning to visit affected areas, monitor those arriving from them, implement the health assessment at entry points and to follow up on them to ensure their safety, Al-Rabiah pointed out.