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Mers virus: Saudi Arabia raises death toll to 282

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Saudi Arabia says 282 people are now confirmed to have been killed by the Mers virus, almost 100 more than initially thought.

The increase came after a national review of hospital data from the time the virus emerged in 2012.

The deputy health minister, who has been criticised for his handling of the crisis, was sacked on Monday.

Cases of the virus, for which there is no known cure, have been confirmed in almost a dozen other countries.

Saudi authorities said there had now been 688 confirmed Mers (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) infections in the kingdom. Before the revision the number of cases was believed to be 575.

Saudi health ministry spokesman Tariq Madani said that despite the revised figures, fewer people were now contracting the disease.

"Though the review showed confirmed cases that needed to be added, we are still witnessing a decline in the number of newly registered cases in the past few weeks" he said.

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