In other developments, the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) updated its epidemiologic assessment today, as four new cases have been reported since its last report on Feb 22.
It noted that three of the four cases were reported by Saudi Arabia's health ministry, with the last one reported on Mar 25 by Germany's Robert Koch Institute, the 73-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates who died in a Munich hospital yesterday.
The ECDC noted that six case-patients so far have been diagnosed and treated in Europe, three of whom were transferred from Arabian Peninsula countries where they were infected.
Though the number of NCoV infections increased over the past month, most cases continue to have links to the Arabian Peninsula, where contact tracing and epidemiologic investigations are under way, the group wrote.
Also, the ECDC issued a separate document that addresses the World Health Organization's (WHO's) NCoV surveillance update, which was published on Mar 18. Though the latest version from the WHO is more comprehensive, the ECDC took issue with one of the testing recommendations.
It noted that for testing, the WHO no long distinguishes between countries in which unexplained sporadic cases have occurred and those, such as in Europe, that have detected imported cases or infections linked to imported cases.
It said the November version of the WHO guidance specifically referenced countries in the Arabian Peninsula and their neighbors. However, the ECDC said it and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are retaining that recommendation. The CDC lists the countries considered in the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring areas as Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.