Updated on 1 July 2014
Most of the camels used for meat and trade came from Somalia
Singapore: Saudi health officials have said that there was a suspicion of MERS virus entering their country through camel imports from the Somalia region in Africa.
Dr Tariq Madani, who heads the advisory board for MERS, said that studies were carried out in this regard and the state may consider banning camel imports from the country if the suspicion was proved.
Dr Madani said that currently imported camels were subjected to strict testing procedures at the sea ports, before allowing them into the country.
He said that since there was concrete evidence on MERS being transmitted to humans through camels, health officials were collaborating with the agriculture ministry of Saudi to nail down the actual etiology and mode of transmision of the disease.
Dr Madani further added that though Saudi Arabia had some domesticated camels, most of the camels used for trade and meat came from Somalia. Saudi Arabia had been the biggest livestock market for Somalia and this prospective ban would adversely affect Somalian economy and exports.