The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) claimed the life of a 57-year-old Saudi man on Sunday, according to an official from the Ministry of Health.
This is the first death reported since Nov. 12, the official said. There have now been 548 deaths from MERS in the Kingdom since 2012, out of 1,276 cases, with two people receiving treatment at government hospitals.
The official said that the ministry was doing everything it can to contain the virus. A 24-hour hotline on the number 937 has been set up for the public to report MERS-related issues. Callers are assured of complete confidentiality.
The official said three major hospitals, in Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah, have been designated as centers of excellence to treat MERS patients. In addition to these facilities, there are 20 fully equipped hospitals in other regions to deal with patients.
By Mohammed Rasooldeen
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