MERS claims first victim in Yemen

Published on 15 April 2014 in News
Sina Khalid (author)

Sina Khalid


SANA’A, April 14—A Yemeni citizen died in Sana’a on Monday, one day after he was diagnosed with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to Deputy Health Minsiter Nasser Ba’awn.  

“Medical staff have recorded a case infected with the coronavirus in Sana’a. The victim is a Yemeni aeronautics engineer,” the state-run Al-Thawra Newspaper quoted Health Minister Ahmed Al-Ansi as saying on Sunday.

This was the first reported case of the virus in Yemen. In response, the Health Ministry on Sunday announced that it established a central control room to deal with the virus.

“Once we were informed about the reported case, we examined the patient and found out that it was a new kind of virus,” said Abdulhakeem Al-Kuhlani, director of the Epidemiological Surveillance and Disease Control Department at the Health Ministry.

Al-Kuhlani said that the ministry would take urgent action to raise awareness about the virus’ symptoms and ways to avoid infection.

“Coronavirus is new and we don’t have sufficient knowledge about it, but the available information shows that the fatality rate of this virus is higher than swine flu or H1N1,” said Al-Kuhlani.

Dr. Abdulnasser Al-Robai, vaccination and observation officer at the World Health Organization, said that the organization, in collaboration with the National Center for Epidemiological Surveillance, sent a team to Sayoun district of Hadramout where the victim was from in order to assess the situation.

“A field team was appointed to investigate the case and take samples of those who came in contact.