Tag Archive: Jeddah

Voice of America

Deadly Virus Surges Through Arab Gulf

FILE - In this June 8, 2011 file photo, a Yemeni manas he leads his camel loaded with his belongings in Taiz, Yemen. Scientists say the mysterious MERS virus has been infecting camels in Saudi Arabia.

FILE – In this June 8, 2011 file photo, a Yemeni manas he leads his camel loaded with his belongings in Taiz, Yemen. Scientists say the mysterious MERS virus has been infecting camels in Saudi Arabia.

Mohamed Elshinnawi

— Saudi Arabia says a deadly virus is rippling through the kingdom as additional cases were reported over the weekend in the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have been seen at two major hospitals in the port city of Jeddah.

Saudi health authorities are embarking on a variety of measures to prevent further spread of the 18-month-long outbreak.

“We have detected 11 cases of (the virus) in Jeddah,” said Dr. Abdul Salam Noorwali, director-general of health in the Makkah region said last week. “Two of the patients have died, while six others have been cured and three cases are under medication,” he said.​

Three of the patients in Jeddah were health workers, including one of the two who died, prompting authorities to temporarily shut down the emergency ward at the city’s King Fahd Hospital.

MERS, by demographicMERS, by demographic

Sami BaDawood, Jeddah’s health affairs director, said the emergency department was closed for disinfection after one health worker there tested positive for the virus and subsequent tests on other staff members showed further infections.
Some patients were transferred to other hospitals while the disinfection was carried out, he said.

The latest figures bring to at least 179 the number of cases of MERS in Saudi Arabia since the virus first appeared in the kingdom in September 2012.


MERS Virus Hits Middle East Hard Once Again; Saudi Arabia Reports 15 New Cases And 2 Deaths


The Middle East is experiencing a surge in MERS infections, with two deaths being reported out of Saudi Arabia and Yemen seeing its first. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus may have ties to the notorious SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus that spread to almost 25 countries within a half year, killing 770 of the 8,000 people sickened by it, but it’s far more mysterious and deadly. And while it has remained out of the spotlight lately, recent reports from Saudi Arabia and Yemen confirm new deaths and cases.

Yemen reported its first case ever of the virus. The man, living in Sanaa, works as an aeronautics engineer, according to Reuters. MERS has already infected 212 people and killed 88 according to the World Health Organization. The virus is deadlier than SARS because compared to the amount that become sick, death rates are high. MERS has already killed about 42 percent of those who fell ill.

“The [Yemeni health] ministry is working in effective cooperation with the World Health Organization to confront this virus and is in direct and constant communication with all hospitals to receive information on any other suspected cases,” Public Health Minister Ahmed al-Ansi was quoted as saying by a Yemeni newspaper, according to Al Jazeera.


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Saudis Blame Government, Hospitals as Deadly Virus Spreads in Mideast

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has killed 60 percent of the people it has infected


A rare respiratory virus that killed more than 100 people in the Middle East in 2012 has resurfaced—and it’s sparking alarm and anger.

New cases of MERS, a virus traced to an Egyptian tomb bat, have turned up again in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and for the first time in Yemen, too. The rage has been the loudest in Saudi Arabia, which has had the majority of MERS cases. People are upset about what they say are poor levels of hygiene at Saudi hospitals, a lack of public outreach about MERS and mismanagement of the crisis by the Saudi Ministry of Health.

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, remains a mystery. Researchers and doctors don’t know how it spreads or why it emerged in the first place. Much like the SARS virus, which infected more than 8,000 people in Asia in 2003, when people get MERS they first show symptoms of fever and a mild cough, which may last for several days. That can lead to pneumonia. However, unlike SARS, MERS can ultimately cause rapid kidney failure.

MERS first appeared in September 2012, and while it has infected only 189 people, it has had a fatality rate of 60%. By contrast, less than 10% of the people infected with SARS have died. With a surge of new MERS cases, the hashtag #corona in Arabic was tweeted over 110,000 times in a span of three days. Mapping the social media discussion of the virus shows that the epicenter of the anger is in Jeddah, the scene of one of the more virulent current outbreaks.

Corona virus Saudi 2

Jeddah, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest cities, attracts millions of visitors every year. During the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Jeddah’s international airport gets up to 2 million visitors from around the world in the span of a week. Last year, 1 million people were forced to forgo the annual Hajj because of concerns over the spread of MERS.


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The Daily Star

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi Arabia: ministry

April 14, 2014 05:10 PM

Agence France PresseA view of the King Fahd hospital which has closed its emergency department banning the exit and entry of people and patients, on April 9, 2014 in Jeddah.   AFP PHOTO/STRA view of the King Fahd hospital which has closed its emergency department banning the exit and entry of people and patients, on April 9, 2014 in Jeddah. AFP PHOTO/STR


JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: A foreigner has died from MERS in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the Health Ministry said Monday.

The death of the 70-year-old man brought the toll of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the most-affected country to 69 fatalities. Four new cases of infection were registered, bringing the kingdom’s total to 194, the ministry said.

It did not disclose the man’s nationality.

Last week panic over the spread of MERS among medical staff in Jeddah had caused a temporary closure of an emergency room at a main hospital, prompting a visit by Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabiah aimed at reassuring an anxious public.

Rabiah briefed the council of ministers on Monday following his visit to hospitals in Jeddah over the weekend.

“The situation concerning the coronavirus is reassuring,” the council said in a statement following its meeting.

The virus was initially concentrated in the eastern region but has now spread across other areas.


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Saudi Arabia floods leave 77 dead

Hajj pilgrims negotiate flooded street

The Saudi authorities have warned pilgrims to take care in the rain

Floods in Saudi Arabia have killed 77 people and scores could be missing, after the heaviest rainfall in years.

None of the casualties had been among the millions attending the Hajj pilgrimage, said a spokesman for the Saudi interior ministry.

Heavy rainstorms on Wednesday had hampered the start of the annual Muslim event in the city of Mecca.

The flood deaths were in the port city of Jeddah, Rabigh and Mecca, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

It quotes officials as saying the deaths had been caused by flooding and collapsed homes. Witnesses said many of the victims were trapped in cars and buses.

Twenty-one of the dead were Saudis and the rest were foreign immigrants resident in the country, said Jeddah civil defence chief Abdullah al-Amri, quoted by the Associated Press.

The floods hit particularly hard in the shantytowns around the city, he added.


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Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

World News  :  Global Community – Religion – Pilgrimage

Nigeria angered by Saudi Hajj deportation

Nigeria angered by Saudi Hajj deportation

Some 95 000 Nigerian Muslims are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage later this month, along with some 3 million other pilgrims from around the world.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Nigerian authorities have displayed their anger at the deportation of more women by Saudi Arabian authorities, as they arrived in the Kingdom to travel to Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The latest round of deportations from Saudi Arabia had seen 43 more being deported, for not having a male escort or chaperon – a requirement for the performance of the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj.

Last week, Nigeria moved to suspend all Hajj flights bound for Saudi Arabia, after more than 1000 women were denied entry into the Kingdom, detained and then deported back to Nigeria.

However, flights to Jeddah and Medina resumed on Sunday, after Nigerian officials said that they had solved most of the administrative problems.

According to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, more male escorts will be accompanying female pilgrims on the same flights.

Previously there were agreements made between the Saudi Hajj Ministry and Hajj officials from Nigeria, whereby
Saudi officials would allow female pilgrims entry, despite being alone or not carrying their husband’s names – which is common in the West African country.

Nigerian Hajj authorities and government officials have formally launched a complaint with the Saudi government about this issue, in the capital Riyadh.

Some 95 000 Nigerian Muslims are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage later this month, along with some 3 million other pilgrims from around the world.

Saudi girls demand carrying weapons for self-defense

Thursday, 02 August 2012

For teacher Yusuf al-Baheesh, there is no problem if girls learn how to use guns in order to defend themselves. (Courtesy to al-Sharq newspaper )

For teacher Yusuf al-Baheesh, there is no problem if girls learn how to use guns in order to defend themselves. (Courtesy to al-Sharq newspaper )

By Al Arabiya

The increasing crime rate especially with the remarkable rise in the number of illegal manpower and the consequent frequency of armed burglaries drove Saudi girls to demand the right to carry weapons and get the necessary training to use them for self-defense.

“I call upon officials to establish training centers that teach girls shooting in summer vacations and over weekends,” said university student Nora al-Asmari.

For teacher Yusuf al-Baheesh, there is no problem if girls learn how to use guns in order to defend themselves.

“Women at the time of the Prophet used to take part in wars both as fighters and nurses,” he said.

Retired army officer Mohammed Zafer argues that shooting training centers should not be confined to women since men too need to learn the art of self-defense.

“Men from young generations do not know anything about the art of shooting and this is a skill that is recommended in Islam,” Zafer said.

Teacher Nadia al-Salem agreed with Zafer and said that many thefts take place because the victims are unable to defend themselves, especially when burglars break into their houses.

“If both men and women learn how to defend themselves, there will be a remarkable drop in the number of crimes we hear about all the time in the papers and in TV,” Salem noted.

Fatima al-Qassim, an 80-year-old widow, said she had learnt to use guns 60 years ago from her father and was also able to assemble and dismantle parts of the gun.

“I worked in herding and this necessitated carrying a weapon especially that I was on my own in the deserts and mountains, Qassim said.”

According to Ali al-Shamri, psychologist and member of the Social Protection Committee in Jeddah, it has become necessary to establish training centers that teach girls how to use weapons.

“This training will give the girl self-confidence and will reverse the stereotype that she is weak and unable to deffend herself,” he told the Saudi newspaper al-Sharq.

It is important, he added, that those centers focus on the use of weapons as an act of self-defense to be used in case of attacks only.

“Trainees have to learn that they should not infringe on other people’s rights and trainers should point out the difference between violence and self-defense.”

Shamri also recommended that girls learn other means of self-defense like martial arts.

“They should also acquire the mental skills needed to react to dangerous situations,” he said.

Askar al-Askar, researcher in Islamic affairs and counter-terrorism, said there is no contradiction between teaching girls self-defense and Islamic teachings.

“As long as the training does not violate Islamic laws and social norms and girls-only training centers are established, there is no problem,” he said.

Mohaya al-Suhaima, head of the Prisons Authority in the Medina region, said that carrying and using weapons is confined to men in Saudi Arabia.

“Even women who work in airports and prisons are only trained on basic first aid skills,” she said.

He added that there isn’t an established system that allows girls to learn shooting and argued that it is not as necessary in Saudi Arabia as it could be in other places.

“Our country is safe and we are not like other countries with high crime rates,” she added.

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