The coronavirus death toll in Saudi Arabia climbed to 9,362 after 1,088 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health announced on Sunday.
Five people have also died of the virus since Saturday, bringing the total number of virus-related fatalities in the Kingdom to 97.
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The new deaths are all of non-citizens and involve four people who lived in Mecca, and one person who resided in Jeddah, the ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Abd al-Ali said.
The patients who died of the virus were between the ages of 37 to 64, and the majority suffered from chronic illnesses.
A total of 251 new cases were found in Mecca, 210 cases were detected in Jeddah, 194 were reported in Dammam, 177 were confirmed in Medina, and 123 were reported in Hufof.
The other new cases were reported in other areas across Saudi Arabia.
#الصحة تعلن عن تسجيل (1088) حالة إصابة جديدة بفيروس #كورونا الجديد (كوفيد19)، وتسجيل (5) حالات وفيات رحمهم الله، وتسجيل (69) حالة تعافي ليصبح مجموع الحالات المتعافية (1398) حالة ولله الحمد. pic.twitter.com/nqx4KtQtqk— و ز ا ر ة ا لـ صـ حـ ة السعودية (@SaudiMOH) April 19, 2020
So far, 1,398 people have recovered from the virus in the Kingdom.
Al-Abd al-Ali said that 17 percent of the new cases were of Saudi Arabian citizens, while 83 percent were non-citizens.
Saudi Arabia has been ramping up its efforts to detect the virus and has been actively conducting screenings across the country.
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
More than 180,000 tests have been conducted in Saudi Arabia so far, al-Abd al-Ali said.
The number of daily reported cases have doubled in the Kingdom since last week, but the health ministry spokesman that the rapid increase is the result of medical authorities conducting more tests than they previously had been doing across the country.
The ministry said that 50 percent of new cases reported on Friday were detected after medical teams conducted coronavirus screenings in several neighborhoods in Mecca and Medina.
Saudi Arabia’s health minister had said earlier this month that the Kingdom’s coronavirus cases could reach between 10,000 to 200,000 within weeks based on four different studies conducted by Saudi and foreign experts.
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