SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia discovers 4 more virus cases, suspends travel to 9 countries

March 09, 2020
Mohammed Alabed Alali, Saudi Arabia's health ministry spokesman, addresses reporters during a press briefing about COVID-19 coronavirus disease in Riyadh, Sunday. — Courtesy photo
Mohammed Alabed Alali, Saudi Arabia's health ministry spokesman, addresses reporters during a press briefing about COVID-19 coronavirus disease in Riyadh, Sunday. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH —
Saudi authorities on Monday announced the discovery of four more new coronavirus cases. The Kingdom also suspended travel by air and sea between the Kingdom and nine countries to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Ministry of Health said the new cases include a Saudi national, two Bahrainis and an American. All the new cases have been quarantined in Qatif and Riyadh and the patients are being provided with all facilities in accordance with the approved health procedures.

Saudi authorities also announced that it would impose a fine of up to $133,000 (SR500,000) on those who do not declare correct health-related information at entry points.

Earlier in the day, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the authorities were suspending travel for Saudi citizens and foreign residents to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Italy and South Korea.

People traveling from those countries or anyone who has been there in the past 14 days would also be temporarily banned from entering the Kingdom.

The discovery of the four new cases brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom to 15. On Sunday, the health ministry announced that four more cases of the fast-spreading respiratory disease were confirmed in Qatif, raising the total to 11 cases.

A statement by the Saudi health ministry said the first case was a Saudi citizen who is related to a previous case in Qatif. The patient is now isolated in a hospital.

The second and third patients are Bahraini women coming from Iraq on their way to Bahrain. Both were isolated in a hospital also in Qatif.

A ministry spokesperson said the fourth case involved a US national returning to the Kingdom from travel, and transited in the Philippines and Italy before his arrival in the Kingdom.

The patient was transferred to a hospital set up for isolation in Riyadh, the spokesperson said.

The travel ban to the nine countries is the latest of a series of measures undertaken by the Kingdom to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, the code name for the coronavirus that has originated in the city of Wuhan in China.

The Kingdom has suspended travel to and from China last month.


March 09, 2020
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