Tests on two people in Britain suspected of being infected with Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus Syndrome (MERS) have proved negative, hospital officials said on Tuesday. 

Concerns about the suspected cases had forced a hospital in northern England to shut briefly its emergency department on Monday.

But in a statement on its website on Tuesday, Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust said "the results of both tests were negative" and reiterated that Manchester Royal Infirmary emergency department was now open to the public.

Cases of MERS, which causes coughing and fever and can lead to fatal pneumonia and kidney failure, have been found mainly in Saudi Arabia, where the viral disease has killed 466 of the 1,055 people it has infected so far.

MERS has also been imported by travelers to at least 25 countries worldwide since it first emerged in 2012.