GCC health ministers continue to raise level of coronavirus epidemiological surveillance

GCC health ministers continue to raise level of coronavirus epidemiological surveillance

RIYADH- The Executive Board of Health Ministers’ Council for the GCC States stressed the continuity of raising the level of epidemiological surveillance for the Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the Gulf region, following a spike in confirmed cases since its discovery in September 2012.

A number of recommendations were made at the Board’s 80th meeting that was concluded Thursday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Executive Board’s Director General Tawfiq al-Khawaja told the press that exchanging information and exchanging contingency plans were among the recommendations made during the meeting.

The meeting also suggested providing laboratories with necessary equipment and medication. It also stressed the importance of raising the qualifications of medical staff to deal, monitor and watch for any signs of the virus.

Among the recommendations was urging media outlets to deliver any news on this new virus in accordance with factual evidence and away from any exaggeration or underestimation of information.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to SARS. Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a particular strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. There is very limited information on transmission, severity and clinical impact with only a small number of cases reported thus far.-KUNA

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