Egypt investigates suspected MERS coronavirus death

Updated 07 May 2014

Egypt investigates suspected MERS coronavirus death

ISMAILIA, Egypt: Egyptian authorities are investigating whether a 60-year-old woman who has died in the city of Port Said had the SARS-like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). If confirmed, it would be Egypt’s first death from the virus.
The woman had recently returned from an Islamic pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, where the MERS coronavirus emerged in 2012, Helmi El-Efni, a Health Ministry official from the city on the Suez Canal, said.
The MERS coronavirus is from the same family as the SARS virus, which killed around 800 people worldwide after first appearing in China in 2002. MERS can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia.
Authorities recently reported Egypt’s first MERS case, a man who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia and was being treated at a hospital in Cairo.
MERS has no vaccine or anti-viral treatment, but international and Saudi health authorities say it does not transmit easily between people and may simply die out.
Scientists say the most likely animal reservoir, from which new cases are becoming infected, is Saudi Arabia’s population of camels.
Saudi Arabia has recorded 411 cases and 112 deaths so far, its Health Ministry said on Saturday.


Iran breaks its record for most new coronavirus cases in one day

Updated 49 min 8 sec ago

Iran breaks its record for most new coronavirus cases in one day

  • Iran, which emerged early on as an epicenter of the virus, has seen its worst wave of deaths from the illness in recent weeks
TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday reported its highest single-day toll of new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic with more than 5,000 new infections, as the country struggles to cope with a surge in transmission.
Iran’s health ministry also reported that 322 people had died from the virus, pushing the death toll over 31,000. The new infection count on Tuesday eclipsed the previous high of 4,830 last week, shining a light on the nation’s floundering efforts to combat the virus.
Iran, which emerged early on as an epicenter of the virus, has seen its worst wave of deaths from the illness in recent weeks. Monday’s death toll shattered its previous single-day record, prompting state news outlets to declare it a “black day.”
Hospitals in the hard-hit capital of Tehran are overflowing. Last week, health officials announced that the city had run out of intensive care beds for virus patients.
The increase comes after Iranians packed cafes and restaurants at vacation spots during recent national holidays, and after schools reopened for in-person instruction last month.
The government has resisted a total lockdown because it does not want to further weaken an economy already devastated by unprecedented US sanctions. The Trump administration re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran after withdrawing in 2018 from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers.
With the death toll skyrocketing, authorities are now starting to impose more restrictions. The government closed museums, libraries, beauty salons, schools and universities in Tehran earlier this month, and imposed a mask mandate outdoors.