News is starting to come in that the health officials in Saudi Arabia were underreporting the numbers of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infections and deaths by a substantial amount. This also follows on news of the sacking of both the Minister of Health about 6 weeks ago and the Deputy Minister this week. Rumors are that both actively encouraged staff to not report or under-report numbers (as in, "that's not a confirmed case") due to fears that a MERS scare will discourage Haj visits. That's a strange rumor, given that the Kingdom has actively been trying to reduce the amount of Haj visits as it continues to engage in large construction projects in Mekkah to be able to handle larger crowds in the future.
I've been following the MERS reports and made a simple chart that shows the numbers as mentioned in the local papers. Today's revelation is the big spike there at the end.