Five people have died from a SARS-like illness in Saudi Arabia, local media reported Thursday, quoting the country's Health Ministry, dpa reported.
All of the deaths occurred in the eastern province of al-Ahsa.
Jeddah-based newspaper Okaz said that two other people had been infected in the latest outbreak of the new form of coronavirus, which causes acute respiratory illness, and were in intensive care.
The Health Ministry was taking precautions including testing associates of the victims, the paper reported.
The World Health Organization in an April 25 update said that a total of 17 cases of the "novel coronavirus" had been identified since its first appearance in late March or early April last year.
Ten of the cases were in Saudi Arabia, five in neighbouring countries, and two in Britain linked to a traveller who had returned from Saudi Arabia.
Experts say the virus does not appear to be highly contagious.