Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia records four new deaths, 59 recoveries over past 24 hours

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Saudi Arabia recorded four new coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours raising the death toll to 83, the health ministry spokesman confirmed on Thursday.

The four people who died are non-Saudis with ages ranging between 35 and 89. All four people had preexisting conditions, according to the spokesman.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

He also said the Kingdom recorded 518 new cases bringing the total to 6,380. Of the confirmed cases, 990 have fully recovered after 59 new recoveries were registered over the past 24 hours, according to the health ministry.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the GCC states passed 15,000 on Monday, with all six of the Arabian Gulf countries still enforcing lockdowns of varying degrees almost a month after Bahrain recorded the first death from the new coronavirus in the region on March 16.

Saudi Arabia has the most total confirmed coronavirus cases in the region and the highest death toll. However, it is also by far the largest country in the GCC, both in terms of population and area.

When taking population into account – with 34.76 million people, Saudi Arabia is larger than all the rest of the GCC states put together – the Kingdom has about 184 cases per million people.

Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Dr. Tawfig al-Rabiah warned that the number of cases in the Kingdom could reach up to 200,000 within weeks, based on four different studies conducted by Saudi and foreign experts. His lower estimate was 10,000.

“There is no doubt that our commitment to the instructions and procedures, in its entirety reduces the number of cases to the minimum, while non-compliance will lead to a huge increase in the number of cases,” al-Rabiah was quoted as saying by SPA.

He also said the numbers in the coming stages depend on everyone's cooperation and commitment to the instructions and precautionary measures. Many people did not take the dangers of the pandemic seriously enough, according to the health minister.

Saudi Arabia implements coronavirus measures

The Kingdom has implemented several measures to slow the spread of the deadly virus. The latest being a 24-hour curfew and lockdown imposed on the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran and Hofuf and throughout the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar. Al-Rabiah said this was imposed in an effort to keep traffic and gatherings at a minimum. Studies show the rate of traffic is 46 percent which is inacceptable and defeats the purpose, the health minister added.

Read: Saudi's King Salman orders treatment for all, including visa violators

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz ordered coronavirus treatment to be available for anyone in need of medical care, including people who have overstayed their visa in the Kingdom.

Entry and prayer in the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina have been halted until further notice. Main prayers as well as Friday prayers at mosques throughout the Kingdom have also been suspended. The decision to suspend prayers at mosques came after a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, and the Minister of Health.

Read more:

With 15,000 cases in the Gulf, here is how GCC states are coping

Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia: The latest facts about what is closed and banned

Saudi Arabia cases could reach 200,000 within weeks, says minister

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