Saudi Arabia reports new coronavirus case in Egyptian traveler, total up to 21

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Saudi Arabia confirmed on Wednesday a new coronavirus case in an Egyptian citizen, raising the total number of cases in the country to 21, the ministry of health reported.

The ministry said the patient was an Egyptian transit passenger arriving from New York and heading to Cairo via King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, where thermal monitoring cameras detected an increase in the patient’s temperature.


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He was immediately isolated in the airport and taken to a hospital in Jeddah.

The passenger was in Egypt before flying to the US during the 14 days prior to his arrival at the airport in Jeddah.

Measures taken to combat coronavirus

The Kingdom put in place mechanisms in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus:

It suspended on March 9 travel to Oman, France, Germany, Turkey, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Italy, and South Korea. It also suspended the entry of those coming from those countries, and entry of those who were there during the 14 days prior to their arrival.

On March 8 Saudi Arabia imposed a quarantine on al-Qatif city, in the Kingdom's Eastern Province, as part of precautionary health measures to stem 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.

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