Saudi Arabia closes emergency ward as MERS infections soar before Hajj

The MOH has now confirmed 69 MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory coronavirus) cases in Riyadh this month.


Before Balkhi’s statement, the Health Ministry had said 480 people had died of the coronavirus since it was first identified in 2012, Associated Press said.

The health ministry said there were 20 cases of MERS in Riyadh, and one in Abha, according to Xinhua.

Since the start of the year, 264 cases of MERS and 115 resulting deaths have been reported in Saudi Arabia.

MERS is believed to have originated in camels and there is still no approved vaccine against the disease.

The global body also warned there would be more cases of MERS globally and the fatal disease would eventually spread within households and possibly cause “significant hospital-associated outbreaks”.

The latest deaths occurred in Riyadh, and the three victims were all Saudis aged between 65 and 86, the health ministry said. One patient is healthcare worker, a 39-year-old man who is hospitalized in critical condition. McVay tells News 3, the patient is doing well. The researchers claim that this vaccine could decrease person-to-person spread of infection. He confirmed the readiness of the Ministry of Health hospitals and other health sectors in Riyadh to work under a unified system to receive the expected cases. It added that people should follow basic hygiene procedures and observe precautions when visiting hospitals.

Rana Sidani, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean office, says a vaccine is urgently needed as MERS is on the rampage in Saudi Arabia.

The new vaccine applies the S spike protein to create immunity to MERS-CoV.


“Four individuals had come in contact with the individual that previously had gotten back from Saudi Arabia”. During this outbreak rapid human-to-human transmission was documented with in-hospital transmission the most common route of infection. And it can stop MRES to become an outbreak.

Scientists have produced a prototype vaccine with promising results in treating MERS