Saudi Arabia Current Affairs - 2019
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Two people have died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea making it country’s first fatalities from the disease.
The first victim was a 58-year-old woman who had contact with the original case, a South Korean who visited the Middle East and second one is of a 71-year-old man.
So far, 25 confirmed cases of MERS virus have detected in South Korea and around 680 people who might have come into contact with the infected patients, have been placed in isolation.
Facts about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
- MERS belongs to the family of coronaviruses which includes large family of viruses such as common cold and Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
- It was discovered in 2012 and was mostly centred in Saudi Arabia.
- Source: MERS is a betacoronavirus derived from bats. Camels have shown to have antibodies to MERS, but the exact source of infection in camels has not been identified.
- Transmission: It can be transmitted from infected person to others after close contact via a respiratory route. It spread’s in droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- Symptoms: fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.
- Treatment: Till date there is no vaccine available to prevent it. However intensive medical care can help patient to breath.
Saudi Arabia along with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and several other countries have started military operations against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The operations were stated after Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi had requested to counter radical Houthi movement in the country and to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen.
The military operation included series of airstrikes which targeted Presidential Palace in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.
The countries included in the operation led by Saudi Arabia are Jordan, Sudan, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan along with GCC member countries. GCC members involved are United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.
United States also has announced authorised logistical and intelligence support to Saudi Arabia led military operations, but has clearly mentioned that its forces will not participate in operations directly.
Indian Government also has issued advisory asking Indian nationals in Yemen to leave the country in view of the continuing fragile situation there.
- The security situation in Yemen deteriorated after the Shia Houthis rebels had seized power by dissolving Yemen’s government and parliament in January 2015.
- Since then rebels had taken control of key government buildings in capital Sanaa including Presidential Palace. They also had taken control and seized city of Taiz, third largest city of Yemen.