Four more people have died from the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia, bringing the death toll from the SARS-like virus in the kingdom to 32, the health ministry has said.

A statement on the ministry's website said on Monday two people had died in the western city of Taif and the other two were pronounced dead in the Eastern Province, where most cases have been registered.

Two weeks ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had raised the global death toll from the SARS-like virus MERS to 31, after a new fatality in hard-hit Saudi Arabia.

Previously known as novel coronavirus, the disease was last month renamed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, reflecting the fact that the bulk of the cases are in that region.

Source: Agencies