Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

A Community Medicine Expert at Umm Al-Qura University Warns: Circulating Rumors about Coronavirus Threatens Health Security

Dr. Muhammad Qarout, a faculty member at the Department of Community Medicine and Pilgrims Healthcare in the UQU's College of Medicine, stressed the importance of obtaining accurate information about the Coronavirus from official sources, such as the Ministry of Health, pointing out the gravity of promoting rumors and misinformation on health security. Moreover, he talked about the ways of transmission, underlining that the Coronavirus may be spread by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes, and a person can catch the virus by putting his or her hand on the mouth, eyes, or nose after touching a surface that an infected person has touched.

In his speech delivered at the awareness-raising seminar organized by the UQU College of Medicine on Coronavirus today, Dr. Qarout outlined the ways of prevention, noting that it is necessary to wash hands with water and soap regularly, and avoid infected people and crowded places. He also told the audience to act carefully and wisely in any interaction with a potentially infected person, and to direct him or her to hospitals and healthcare institutions for medical diagnosis and treatment.

The awareness-raising seminar was hosted at King Abdul-Aziz Historical Support Hall, in the presence of His Excellency the UQU President, Prof. Dr. Abdullah bin Omar Bafail, and a number of the university staff members and students. Dr. Emad Al-Jahdli, a faculty member at the Department of Community Medicine and Pilgrims Healthcare, Dr. Muhammad Qarout, and Dr. Ayman Johargy, Assistant Professor at the College, participated in the seminar.

Dr. Emad Al-Jahdli provided an overview of the Coronavirus, and underlined that the Novel Coronavirus belongs to the same Coronavirus family of the previous Coronaviruses but differs in terms of the strain and effects. Furthermore, he explained the differences between risk management and crisis management, noting that dealing with the Novel Coronavirus falls under risk management and that the mechanisms of prevention and protection against infection should be availed to prevent the situation from becoming a crisis.

On his part, Dr. Johargy underlined that the Pharaonic inscriptions and studies on mummies confirm the presence of Coronaviruses since 1500 B.C., and that the virus remains inactive and has no effect outside the living cell. Moreover, he spoke about the first appearance of the Coronavirus in 1960 A.C., being named for its crown-like shape under a microscope. He pointed out that there are different types of Coronavirus, the gravity of which varies according to the strain and its class.

In conjunction with the campaign organized by the UQU to prevent the Novel Coronavirus, the Health Club at the Vice Deanship of Student Affairs for Activities and Student Training organized an awareness-raising exhibition; a total of 6 interactive corners were set up to edify the students on the origin of the virus, ways of transmission, and methods to prevent infection. This exhibition was organized with the participation of the College of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Dentistry, the College of Public Health and Health Informatics, the College of Nursing, and the health stream of the Deanship of the Joint First Year.