Saudi Health officials confirm that 42 new cases of MERS or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have appeared in the kingdom over the last week. Seven from the 42 cases were fatal. Last week alone, after a year and a half since its discovery, MERS reached 200 cases in Saudi Arabia. Travellers coming back from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, Malaysia, Philippines and Greece had brought the disease to their lands with first cases being reported.
Saudi Pharmaceuticals are running out of facemasks to defend against the coronavirus, which is infectious through air.
According to foreign health experts and researchers, no data about the virus had come out from Saudi Arabia. Experts can only speculate if the numerous cases in Jeddah may be attributed to the strength of the disease, or because of the failure to manage infection control among health workers.
Local Saudi News Agencies reported that the Kingdom is working with an international pharmaceutical company to develop a vaccine. However, the local news did not elaborate on the details.
The Saudi Ministry of Health advised on its Twitter and Youtube about washing one’s hands to limit the spread of the virus. Saudis had also taken to social media in helping their social circles know about safety measures to address the infectious disease’s spread.
The US is currently trying to prevent a collapse of negotiations between Israel and Palestine regarding a dispute over Palestinian prisoners. Upon the resolution of such matter will decide the fate of the peace talks between the two countries. According to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the results of the peace talks will be clear within days before the April 29 deadline approaches.
Washington had been trying to get the two countries to accept a framework that would extend the negotiations beyond April to the end of the year. However, Israel said that it will not release the last batch of 26 Palestinian veterans until Israel knows clearly what it will get in exchange for releasing the prisoners. If there is a deal, it will not be approved easily as the cabinet will need to evaluate the deal.
Palestine, however, said that they will not consider extending the talks without having the last batch of prisoners freed. Israel will only release the prisoners if Palestine will agree to continue the peace talks. The new crisis is a crisis inside an earlier crisis, which is the conflict between the two countries.
According to Palestinian Prisoners Minister Issa Qaraqaa, the dispute can be resolved in just 24 hours.
The last group of Palestinian prisoners were released on March 29.