Qatar coronavirus death toll rises to 25

By: Douglas Montero, CNN

The death toll in a deadly coronavirus outbreak in Russia is still hovering near all-time highs after four more people died over the weekend.

Three people who were being treated for the virus on the island of Krymsk in the Pacific died Friday and Saturday, the World Health Organization reported Tuesday. It’s believed that one of the people who died was still recovering from an infection when they caught a second case of the virus, the agency said.

That brings the total number of people in Russia who have died of the severe respiratory disease to 145. Five deaths in the western part of the country were reported over the weekend.

It also remains unclear whether the five people who died in Russia who had never been to the island of Krymsk, let alone were sickened there, had an infection from an already sick person who traveled there, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

The number of new cases of coronavirus-related illnesses that have been reported has also increased significantly, with a total of 20 confirmed cases in Russia in the past two weeks, according to Jasarevic.

WHO officials expressed concerns for the coming days, with “a wave of potential new cases expected across Russia.”

The coronavirus, called O104:H4, was identified after a man from Saudi Arabia died in 2012 from what was then called coronavirus SARS-CoV, a severe respiratory disease caused by a family of viruses that infected more than 8,000 people globally.

A man from Qatar was identified in the current outbreak in 2014 as the first confirmed person infected with the new coronavirus. That year, of 15 people known to have died from the virus, 14 had traveled to or were in Saudi Arabia.

Some of the people who have died in the current outbreak traveled to Saudi Arabia last month for medical care. The Saudi Ministry of Health said in an e-mail to CNN that 24 people who were referred to the country’s medical staff from Riyadh and Jeddah in August and September have been confirmed with coronavirus.

So far, 11 of them, or 75%, have returned to Saudi Arabia, and another five have been re-directed to Qatar, the ministry said. One returned to the United Kingdom after arriving in Saudia Arabia, the ministry said.

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