Tuesday, 21 October 2014  -  27 Thul-Hijjah 1435 H

Kiss of death? — Saudi camel fans don’t think so

Last updated: Thursday, May 15, 2014 8:04 PM



AFTER a recent official Saudi warning to the citizens to steer clear of camels amid the spread of the deadly MERS coronavirus, many are taking to social media to defy the warning — in the most peculiar of ways.

People are snapping photos and videos of themselves kissing camels, just days after the Kingdom’s authorities asked the people to stay away from raw camel meat and camel milk, while also keeping any sick animals at bay.

The virus, which causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS, has been reported in more than 500 patients in Saudi Arabia alone and spread throughout the region in sporadic cases and into Europe, Asia and the United States.

Its death rate is around 30 percent of those infected. In a video posted on YouTube and Twitter, one man says: “Look at me! Sneeze, sneeze! They say there’s corona in this,” while kissing and hugging two camels.

He then shakes one of the camels’ heads and says, “She says no. Is there corona in you? She says no.”

In another picture, a man is seen kissing a she-camel on the mouth to prove that the animals, could not be the source of infection.

On Twitter, one user tweeted to acting Saudi Health Minister Adel M. Fakeih, saying: “@adelmfakeih #the_campaign_against_camels_exposed And we call for it to stop or for evidence to be produced because camels are fine and all the ill people are in cities.”

Also, an infographic circulating on social media suggests camels are more valuable than petrol. — Al Arabiya News



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