Five more people in Saudi Arabia have died after coming down with a newly diagnosed coronavirus, and two are in intensive care, Reuters reports.
According to Saudi news agency SPA, the seven patients were all in the Al Ahsa governorate in the Eastern Province, which borders Qatar.
When reached by phone, an official at Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health told Doha News that there were no updates on the presence of novel coronavirus (NCoV) here. But the SCH has previously reassured the public that it is closely monitoring patients for the disease, which can be diagnosed in local laboratories.
According to its most recent post on the subject in late March, the World Health Organization has confirmed 17 cases of NCoV worldwide, with 11 people dying of the virus, many of them from the GCC.
NCoV, which was first diagnosed in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, hails from a large family of viruses that include the common cold and SARS, a severe pneumonia first diagnosed in 2003 that killed some 800 people before it was brought under control.
Health officials have still not determined how the virus spreads, but stress that the infection is not widespread or a cause for deep concern. WHO has consistently said it does not advise special screening at points of entry nor recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied.
Credit: Photo for illustrative purposes only by ILO Arab States