Saudi Arabia suspends public attendance of sports competitions over coronavirus
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Sports announced on Friday suspending public attendance at all sports competitions and events starting Saturday, as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The ministry said in its statement that this is as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus in places that witness mass crowds, and the suspension will be until further notice.
It added that it will coordinate with clubs that will play Saturday as part of the matches of Prince Mohammed bin Salman Cup, to reimburrse fans for their tickets.
Saudi Arabia had confirmed five coronavirus cases as of Thursday, all of whom had arrived in the Kingdom through Bahrain or Kuwait, originally coming from Iran. Riyadh condemned Iran for allowing the Saudi nationals entry to its territory without stamping their passports.
Measures taken to combat coronavirus
The Kingdom put in place mechanisms in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus:
It urged its citizens who had traveled to Iran recently to declare that to the authorities by end of day March 7, or else face legal action against them according to the Travel Documents Law and its related regulations. It also reiterated that Saudi citizens should not travel to Iran for any reason, stressing that serious legal actions will be taken against those who commit this act going forward.
The health ministry said on March 1 it had prepared 25 hospitals and 8,000 beds to handle any coronavirus cases.
The foreign ministry announced on February 27 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.