Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia records 1,132 new cases in 24 hours, total now 8,274
Saudi Arabia confirmed 1,132 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 8,274, a health ministry spokesman said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom recorded five new coronavirus deaths, raising the death toll to 92.
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A 34-year-old Saudi national was one of the latest to die due to the virus, in addition to four other non-Saudis with ages ranging between 45 and 80 years old, according to the health ministry.
Last week, the health ministry was recording about 500 new cases every 24 hours. Saudi Arabia's daily confirmed numbers have doubled since then. The spokesman said the increase in infection numbers is due to the intensified testing throughout the Kingdom. Adding, 79 percent of the new cases were discovered through the ministry’s field testing campaign in which medical teams are visiting crowded residential areas to screen residents in their homes.
Medical teams have been actively conducting coronavirus screenings in Mecca and Medina neighborhoods.
The spokesman said increasing the testing capacity is a preventative measure that helps with early detection, therefore leads to faster containment.
The Kingdom has recorded a higher number of confirmed coronavirus cases in crowded residential areas, including neighborhoods with a high number of labor worker residences.
We are conducting mass surveillance of COVID19, to proactively increase efforts to reach populations within neighborhoods and individuals in their homes. We’ve also expanded the drive-through testing, to identify cases early on, thereby minimizing the need for hospitalization. pic.twitter.com/xrwRz90htS— توفيق الربيعة (@tfrabiah) April 17, 2020
Saudi Arabia implements precautionary measures
On Friday, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia said this year's Ramadan communal taraweeh and Eid prayers should be held at home due to the coronavirus, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. The announcement was made one week before the Muslim holy month is estimated to begin.
Saudi Arabia has already suspended group prayers in mosques as a precautionary measure. The Kingdom also asked Muslims around the world to delay their plans for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages amid uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the Kingdom’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah said.