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Head of Saudi hospital sacked over Mers infection panic

Published on May 7, 2014 6:13 PM
Newly appointed Saudi acting Minister of Health Adel Fakieh speaks to the media during a press conference on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in Riyadh on April 29, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia's acting health minister has announced the sacking of the head of a Jeddah hospital where a spike in coronary viral infections among medical staff sparked panic among the public.

The move, which Mr Adel Fakieh announced on Twitter late Tuesday, came after he inspected King Fahd Hospital's emergency department in the Red Sea city. The facility was temporarily shut last month after several medics were infected by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) coronavirus. Panic at the western city's main hospital prompted at least four doctors to resign after they refused to treat Mers patients for fear of infection.

On April 21, nearly a week after the resignations, Riyadh dismissed the kingdom's health minister without saying why, and appointed Labour Minister Fakieh as acting health minister.

Mr Fakieh, who has repeatedly promised "transparency" over Mers, said he has replaced the head of King Fahd hospital and his assistants.

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