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Saudis to hold workshop to fight swine flu

Saudis to hold workshop to fight swine flu

The nation’s health minister asked the ministry to set up workshops to better prepare officials to curb the spread of swine flu in the Kingdom.

June 17, 2009 2:29 by

Health Minister Abdullah Al Rabeeah yesterday asked his ministry to hold a special workshop for health officials to better combat the spread of swine flu in the Kingdom as three more cases were reported. The number of people affected with the H1N1 virus in the Gulf, meanwhile, also rose to 33 with Qatar reporting its first cases.

The workshop in the Kingdom next week will have foreign experts among its participants. “This is going to be an extraordinary meeting at which experts from the World Health Organization, the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control and the Eastern Mediterranean Office in Alexandria will give their views and tell local officials how to react to the flu virus,” Health Ministry spokesman Khalid Al Mirghalani said.

After the workshop, the experts would be taken to the Haj Terminal in Jeddah and other places where large numbers of people gather in order for them to give suggestions about dealing with the virus. Al Mirghalani said that the health minister was open to any constructive suggestion to combat the disease. The workshop is tentatively fixed for June 26.

The Health Ministry yesterday announced the discovery of three more cases of swine flu — two in Madinah and one in Riyadh — bringing the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 17.

The two people identified with the virus yesterday at the King Fahd Hospital in Madinah were a Saudi student coming from Australia and a woman patient. The third patient is a Malaysian nurse. An official said that the Saudi student came by Emirates airlines Flight 817 from Dubai to King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh on Friday and subsequently traveled the following day by Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 1465 to Madinah.

The official said that passengers who had traveled on those flights should be careful and should report any symptoms to the ministry.

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