Widespread outbreak of coronavirus in Saudi Arabia and WHO responsibility

March 4, 2020 - 22:50

TEHRAN - With the spread of coronavirus known as COVID-19 in many countries, some states have attempted to block any information about the outbreak of the virus. 

One of these states is Saudi Arabia, which has long been trying to spread fake news and launch a psychological warfare against other countries, especially its neighbors. 

In this attempt, Riyadh has established a highly-equipped cyber center called “Etidal” and bought shares of several international media outlets, such as BBC Persian and Twitter. 

Now, Saudi Arabia has made every effort to introduce the Islamic Republic of Iran as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the wake of the havoc caused by the virus, and thus complete the puzzle of Western maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian nation.

The Saudi regime has not released any news about the outbreak of the disease in the kingdom in recent days or weeks. It is just trying to cover up the issue.

However, the Saudi daily Al Watan has challenged this secrecy through a report.

The newspaper reported that scientific studies have shown that bats of Jazan, a port city in Saudi Arabia, are one of the sources that transmit many viruses to animals and humans. In 2012, the MERS-coronavirus was transmitted from bats to camels and then to humans in Saudi Arabia. 

The paper added that based on published information, the bats greatly breed at the right temperature and have recently been seen in residential areas and even in the King Fahad Hospital. 

The report, along with news that released two days ago about the preparation of 25 hospitals to handle the coronavirus cases, reveals that Saudi Arabia has resorted to secrecy, just as what it did in the case of the MERS-CoV in 2012. 

Now, there is speculation that a similar situation is happening about the outbreak of COVID-19.

MERS-CoV, with about 30% of mortality rate, is a very dangerous virus related to SARS-CoV. The virus was first reported in Saudi Arabia and led to large casualties due to the inadequacy of the country’s healthcare system, but Riyadh did not allow the facts about the virus fatalities to be revealed through a grave secrecy.

This widespread secrecy can be noted in at least two aspects: first, the lives of the Saudi citizens are in serious danger. Second, the lack of transparent information can make Saudi Arabia the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East and then the world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) needs to send its experts to Saudi Arabia to reveal the facts about the coronavirus spread, assess the country’s readiness to handle and treat the patients and to present the results to the public.

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