After announcing four cases of novel coronavirus late on Monday, the Saudi Press Agency added two more in it the Eastern region last night, citing the Ministry of Health. The new patients diagnosed with the infection are health practitioners and are currently receiving medical help in the local hospital.
The two confirmed cases are according to the state media, nurses who work at the hospital where coronavirus sufferers are being treated. It looks the infection was either too easy to contract, safety measures haven’t been taken which is highly unlikely, or the virus is getting more contagious. The two medical workers are among the latest six cases of the deadly SARS-like virus which was identified last year and caused an outbreak in Saudi Eastern Province. The number of infections within the kingdom jumps to 30, including 15 deaths. According to Ministry’s announcement from Monday evening, one of the patients was released from the hospital, while the others were still treated.
Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) visited Saudi Arabia in Sunday in order to assess the situation and offer their help to the authorities. In addition, the Health Ministry is now receiving expertise from researchers from U.S. and Canadian universities who are working with National Committee of Infectious Diseases.
According to WHO one of all six patients, a 69-year-old man who became ill on April 25 and had multiple co-existing medical conditions, has died. Another one, a 56-year-old man became ill on May 7, but already fully recovered and discharged from the hospital. The other patients, men, aged 48 and 81, are in critical condition. The two new patients had close contact with the infected patients, which is believed to be reason why they fell ill. Up to date, there are a total of 19 novel coronavirus cases, including nine deaths, linked to this particular health care facility in the Eastern region. This is the fifth cluster of cases, reported worldwide and is currently being under investigation.
The Health Minister, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said patients suffering from the new virus have high temperature, cough, and severe pneumonia which affect both lungs. Although the scientific name of the novel coronavirus is NCoV, news media begin to call it MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome.