The disease was particularly prevalent in King Fahd Hospital, with 12 medical practitioners and 5 doctors contracting the disease since it was first reported in Jeddah.
Al-Assiri explained that several factors played a role in this spread. Initially, two MERS patients had been in the ER of the hospital for about 6 days before it was ascertained that they had MERS.
By the time the patients were quarantined, the coronavirus had spread to a number of medical practitioners and patients who were present in the ER during that period. Moreover, medical practitioners neglected to follow even basic preventive measures, such as using face masks while examining patients, that help curb the spread of infection.
According to Al-Watan news, another key factor was that the presence of the disease went largely undetected, that is, until the 2 MERS cases in King Fahd hospital were announced. This lack of awareness led to further spreading of the infection within and outside the hospital.
Al-Assiri also pointed out that the MoH faced many obstacles since the first case was reported in Jeddah. Lack of awareness among medical practitioners and lack of focus on preventive measures were among the hurdles. The ministry, along with Aramco, conducted awareness workshops where they showed how to properly employ preventive measures in Emergency Rooms and Infection Control Units of Hospitals.