Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia tells arrivals from Lebanon, Egypt to self-quarantine
Saudi Arabia’s health ministry announced on Saturday that anyone in the Kingdom who has been in Lebanon, Egypt, Italy or South Korea during the last two weeks to quarantine themselves at home for two weeks from the date of their arrival, as part of the country’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency reported.
The ministry added that any medical practitioner coming back to Saudi Arabia from those four countries should also self-quarantine for two weeks.
And if they show any symptoms they should immediately contact the ministry’s coronavirus-dedicated hotline to get the necessary help from the health authorities or go to the nearest hospital.
Saudi Arabia had confirmed seven coronavirus cases as of Saturday, all of whom had arrived in the Kingdom through Bahrain or Kuwait or the UAE, 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.
Saudi Arabia announced on March 4 temporarily banning entry of its nationals and residents to Mecca to perform Umrah pilgrimage or to visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
The Kingdom halted on March 2 all exports of medical and laboratory products and equipment used to detect or prevent coronavirus infection via its land, sea and air ports.
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.