New Mers death raises Saudi toll to 57 ; four other new cases in Riyadh

RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi health authorities announced on Thursday a new Mers death, bringing to 57 the number of people killed by the coronavirus in the country with the most fatalities.

The health ministry said in a statement on its website that a 73-year-old Saudi man, who suffered from chronic illnesses, died in the capital Riyadh after he contracted Mers.

Authorities also registered four other new MERS cases in Riyadh.

Two of them are Saudis, one is a 57-year-old who is chronically ill and is in intensive care and the other is a 27-year-old medic.

The other two people infected are foreign medics, a 43-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man.

The ministry said 141 cases have been reported in the country since the virus appeared more than a year ago.

Experts are struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no vaccine.

Mers is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the Sars virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine per cent of whom died.