Foreign tourists wear masks as a precaution against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) as they walk on a street in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday. (AP)Friday
JEDDAH: Ministry of Health officials are expected to meet their South Korean counterparts soon to discuss possible cooperation to fight the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
A recent report in the Korea Times newspaper had quoted the spokesman of the South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, Kwon Deok-cheol, confirming that a team from the Kingdom would be arriving in South Korea to help identify ways to tackle MERS.
There have been 108 confirmed cases in South Korea and over 1,029 in the Kingdom, with several deaths, mostly in Saudi Arabia. “A team of infectious disease experts from the Saudi Ministry of Health will arrive in Korea to exchange experiences and knowledge about the deadly virus,” the spokesman said.
Abdulqader Al-Haidar, a professor at King Saud University’s faculty of medicine, said South Korean hospitals are far more advanced than those in Saudi Arabia, especially regarding sterilization practices. He said the objective of the Saudi Ministry’s visit is to exchange knowledge and experiences, according to a report in a local publication.
He said the Saudi Ministry of Health would benefit far more than the South Koreans because of their sophisticated health systems and ability to identify new cases quickly.
Journalist Abdullah Al-Kaeed said the team visiting South Korea would probably consist of foreign experts whom the ministry has been relying on. He said the Koreans might have been asking for support from Saudi Arabia because they had seen inaccurate reports about successes in tackling MERS here.
Khaled Mirghalani, spokesman of the ministry, was not available for comment.