Saudi Arabia reports first coronavirus case, a Saudi national coming from Iran
Saudi Arabia’s ministry of health detected on Monday the first coronavirus case, a Saudi national traveling from Iran to the Kingdom through Bahrain, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.
The ministry said the Saudi national did not disclose to the authorities at the Saudi entry point that he had been in Iran recently.
Once he tested positive for the virus, he was placed under quarantine in a hospital and is being provided the necessary medical care in accordance with the approved procedures, the ministry added.
The ministry assured the public that the authorities are currently testing everyone who came into contact with the infected Saudi national and collecting samples from them to be tested by the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
A spokesman for the health ministry had said on Sunday the Kingdom was fully prepared for any potential cases and had prepared 25 hospitals and 8,000 beds to handle any coronavirus cases that might be detected.
Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday the temporary suspension of entry for individuals seeking to perform Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca or visiting the Prophet's Mosque in Madina, as well as tourists traveling from countries where the coronavirus poses a risk as determined by the Kingdom’s health authorities.
Those countries are: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Macau, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Somalia, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.
Iran's coronavirus numbers highest in the Middle East
Iran reported on Monday 12 new deaths due to coronavirus bringing the death toll up to 66, the highest outside China, and confirmed 523 new infections raising the total number of cases detected to 1,501.
This has pushed several countries to suspend flights and most of its neighbors to close their borders, especially after several neighboring countries started registering coronavirus cases relating to travel from Iran.