Six new MERS cases in Saudi Arabia, two deaths in 48 hours

Health Ministry said it tested 1,655 samples last week and 34 were found to be confirmed coronavirus cases

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Six new confirmed cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and two deaths were registered during the past 48 hours, the Health Ministry announced.

It said the new cases and the two deaths were registered in Riyadh which has the highest number of the coronavirus cases.
The ministry said two patients have recovered and were discharged from a government hospital in Riyadh.

According to the ministry, a suspected case of coronavirus was reported at Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz Hospital in Madinah and was immediately transferred to a government hospital in Riyadh.

The hospital’s department of information and public relations said it was not a confirmed MERS case but was transferred to Riyadh as a precautionary measure.

The ministry, meanwhile, said out of 1,655 samples tested last week, 34 were found to be confirmed coronavirus cases including 33 in Riyadh and one in Najran.

It said 15 of these cases are being treated in government hospitals while the 19 others are being treated in a number of private hospitals.

The ministry said since the virus was first discovered in the Kingdom in September 2012, a total of 1,175 people have contracted it of whom 606 have recovered with a ratio of 51.6 percent.

It said 57 cases are still under treatment in government and private hospitals and nine cases quarantined at their homes.

The ministry denied reports that it had contacted Sheikh Abdul Majeed Al-Zandani, a Yemeni scholar, who claimed to have a treatment for the deadly virus.

Faisal Al-Zahrani, a ministry’s spokesman, said the ministry respects the views and opinions of Muslim scholars and preachers, but it has never contacted Al-Zandani concerning his claim hat he has a remedy for the disease.

“The ministry is continuing its efforts with the research centers around the world within its attempts to find a cure for this serious disease,” he said.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on September 2, 2015.

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