As death toll from a new strain of coronavirus rises to 25, authorities in Britain begin to treat people in hospital as far as Somalia, Yemen and eastern Europe. At least one person, an Emirati national, has died of the killer virus in Britain. As of Thursday, the World Health Organization has said it has not been able to confirm whether the fatal strain, known as “Aussie,” is from bats, birds or humans but confirmed it has become endemic in the Middle East.
Countries seeing an increase in cases of the illness have been swift to take action, deploying soldiers, medical experts and dangerous-animal specialists to search for the source of the outbreak. The hunt for the source of the outbreak of the new virus could also end up in one of the same places visited by the Saudi Arabian health worker who died in London last year. His daughter, Alaa al-Asadi, told British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, that after visiting the Saudi kingdom, her father had been a patient at a hospital. No explanations were made for the meeting and the patient’s death was a shock to his family.
United Arab Emirates:
National authorities across Europe have been quick to make sure the UK is covered and have all been contacted. In France, amid fears that the virus may be carried by camels, the health minister said it may be dangerous to travel to the Middle East. In Germany, at the risk of contamination is high, authorities advised the British community there to take precautions and avoid contact with camels. The same advice has been given to others in the UK, giving advice in particular to people who go to hospital or have significant health problems in areas of high transmission.
Arabs have been keeping a vigilant eye on the developments because the virus, which attacks the heart, is named after the region it was found in, Arabia.
Shocked Aussie nurses are posting video of atreatment following infection from the new virus – but can they be certain?
Not everyone is convinced, however, that the virus is killing them.
Online postings are filled with examples of those who are getting better on treatment.
This is a change of tone from their previously angry and strident statements.
Some Saudis are angry, and increasingly finding and criticizing the Saudi medical and political system on social media and news sites such as Pariam with many claiming that they have lost hundreds of people because the Saudi government has not done enough to investigate and contain the outbreak.
“Of course, there is a conspiracy!” reads one post after Dr. Ahmed Saad, an official of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, was brutally beaten and tortured by six men for his criticism of the crackdown.
On March 14th, Dr. Saad was forced to flee his home by six masked men in the middle of the night. He was told that the men were dealing with his welfare. In a post published later that day on his website, Dr. Saad accuses authorities of being complicit in the abuse of prisoners inside the country, and the death of Jamal Khashoggi.
Shortly after Dr. Saad’s attack, Saudi Arabia released a statement explaining the attacker acted on his own accord. However, several activists and civil rights advocates from the region have responded by calling on Saudi authorities to investigate more deeply the movements of the assassins.
Residents of the war-torn country in the Horn of Africa report that the new virus is a new phenomenon in the region as far as they can remember.
Recently, the World Health Organization and the African regional body of the African Union have banned the slaughter of camels in Yemen for sale or for rearing.
Yemeni authorities have been urging people to be vigilant of the virus and to notify authorities if they suspect anyone has contracted the virus.
Soldiers and doctors are being deployed across Eastern Europe following the rapid spread of the illness across the continent, with the Dutch authorities deploying a team of 150 in the cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam to investigate a case of the disease for the first time in the Netherlands. The outbreak first appeared last month.
More than a dozen cases have been reported across Eastern Europe, with Bulgaria the first EU country to be hit in January. Denmark followed suit in February.
This is a developing story and information is being updated regularly. Anyone who has information is encouraged to email [email protected] or send an email through our Android app.
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