Qatar confirms first MERS coronavirus death

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Qatar health authorities have confirmed the country’s first death of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, news agency KUNA reports.

It is Qatar’s third reported case and comes after the first confirmed death from the virus in the UAE last week.

An estimated 50 people worldwide are believed to have died from the coronavirus since it emerged last year.

Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health (SCH) said in a statement that a 56-year-old Qatari woman who suffered from “several chronic diseases and risk factors” had died from the virus.

“She was admitted to intensive care unit at a hospital on 23 August and died on 31 August," the statement, published by KUNA, said.

The SCH said in the two other cases, a 59-year-old Qatari man identified symptoms of the virus while he was abroad.

Upon his return to Qatar he was diagnosed with the disease, but later recovered.

Another 29-year-old Qatari man, who also suffers from chronic disease and several risk factors, is in a critical condition in hospital, the statement said.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, emerged in Saudi Arabia last year and has been reported in people in the Gulf, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain.

Last week the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported the UAE’s first confirmed death from the virus after an 82-year-old Emirati, who had been undergoing chemotherapy for the past two years, died in early August.

At the time WHO said eight more people in Saudi Arabia had contracted the coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections worldwide to 102, and deaths to 49.

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