Saudi Arabia sacks health chief as MERS cases surge

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
CIDRAP News
Apr 21, 2014

Saudi Arabia announced the removal of its health minister today as its count of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases surged by 17, following 20 new cases over the weekend, for a total of 37 cases and 6 deaths in 3 days.

Twenty-one of the cases reported were in Jeddah, site of a growing healthcare-related outbreak.

Meanwhile, sketchy reports from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where 14 MERS cases were recently linked to one paramedic, cited a dozen new cases there.

The latest cases in Saudi Arabia raised the country’s MERS count to 261, including 81 deaths. More than a third of those cases have been announced just this month. Most of the April cases have been in the Red Sea port of Jeddah, many of them in healthcare workers (HCWs).

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