Updated on 10 June 2014
A six member team from the WHO gathered crucial details about MERS from the recent investigation of the outbreak in Saudi
Singapore: The World Health Organisation has criticized the Saudi health ministry for the lack of preventive measures and hospital surveillance, which could have led to the recent outbreak of the deadly MERS virus.
Reporting the findings of the five-day mission to the UAE, the WHO team said that there were lapses in the hospital infections which could have been the source of the recent outbreak.
WHO however ruled out any chance of human-to-human transmission. They said that the upsurge of cases in Abu Dhabi appears to have been caused by a combination of factors, including a breach in infection prevention and control measures in health care settings.
Saudi being the epicenter for MERS, had been condemned for handling of the disease. Experts feel that the spread could have been under control by now, if officials and scientists there had collaborated more on studies, in to how the virus operated, its etiology and mode of transmission.
The Saudi health ministry in turn defended this claiming that they have sought new measures for better data gathering, reporting and transparency. Methods of testing, storing samples and labelling have also been improvised.
Mr Peter Ben Embarek, who led the WHO delegation remarked that he was impressed by the amount of data and information generated during the investigation of the MERS cases of Saudi. He added that such knowledge and research is of utmost importance to discover the etiology and mode of spread of the virus.