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Saudi Arabia says MERS virus cases top 300, 5 more die

Published on Apr 26, 2014 6:39 AM
 
Medical workers and foreigners wear mouth and nose masks as they leave a local hospital's emergency department, on April 22, 2014 in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SAUDI KUWAIT (REUTERS) - Saudi Arabia said on Friday it had discovered 14 more cases of the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the kingdom, bringing the total number to 313.

A health ministry statement said the new cases had been reported in the capital Riyadh, the coastal city of Jeddah and the "holy capital" Mecca in the past 24 hours. Authorities had also registered five more deaths due to the virus, it said.

The jump in cases is of particular concern because Saudi Arabia will host pilgrims from around the world in July during the Muslim month of Ramadan, as well as in early October when millions of worshippers perform the annual Haj.

In total, 92 people have died of MERS in Saudi Arabia, the ministry said on its website.

 
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