MERS strikes: 2 dead in 5 days, 4 contract virus

Updated 27 August 2013
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MERS strikes: 2 dead in 5 days, 4 contract virus

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS) has claimed two more lives in Saudi Arabia and four others have been diagnosed with the disease in the past five days, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday.
This brings the global death toll from MERS to 47, including 41 in Saudi Arabia.
One of the fatalities is a 51-year-old man suffering from cancer and chronic diseases in Riyadh, who had earlier been diagnosed with MERS. The other was a 54 year-old citizen, also suffering from chronic diseases, who had been previously reported as infected with this virus.
The two new cases of infection were registered in the southwestern region of Asir.
They include a man aged 31 with chronic illnesses, and another, 55, who was in contact with an infected person, the ministry said. Both are being treated.
On Wednesday, two cases were found in Riyadh. The first is a 50-year-old Saudi woman afflicted with cancer and other chronic diseases. The second case is a 70-year-old resident with several chronic diseases. Both are in ICU.
Experts are struggling to understand MERS, for which there is still no vaccine and which has an extremely high fatality rate of more than 51 percent.
It is considered a cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.
Like SARS, MERS is thought to have jumped from animals to humans, and it shares the former’s flu-like symptoms — but differs by also causing kidney failure.


US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Updated 18 November 2018
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US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

  • A US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case
  • ‘The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts’

JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case. 
“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”

But President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration would get “a very full report,” including who was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, on Monday or Tuesday.
The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects. 
On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 
Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed. 
“I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said
Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post.
He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents.