Saudi Arabia’s confirmed coronavirus cases continue to increase with 1,966 new cases confirmed on Monday, while the death rate has slightly dropped to 0.6 percent, according to the health ministry.
The death toll has increased to 255 after nine new fatalities were confirmed.
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Meanwhile, health ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Abd al-Ali said 1,280 new recoveries were recorded over the past the 24 hours, raising the total number or recoveries to 12,737.
“This is a slightly over 30 percent of the total confirmed cases,” he added.
Of the new cases, 78 percent were male, and 22 percent were female patients. Al-Ali said the ministry noticed a small increase in female cases recently as well as in minors. He said this increase is partly due to ignoring social distancing measures and attending social gatherings.
The spokesman continued to urge people to follow social distancing rules and other measures implemented to slow the spread of the virus.
Saudi Arabia last week banned gatherings and crowds of more than five people under new regulations issued by the Kingdom to curb the coronavirus outbreak. The Ministry of Interior clarified that those who do not live together are banned from gathering together.
The new regulations, which will be enforced by a newly-formed police unit, are part of efforts to ensure people follow social distancing measures.
High number of cases, low death rate
Despite an increase in the number of cases, Saudi Arabia’s coronavirus treatment protocol, extensive testing and active screenings have helped the Kingdom maintain its relatively low death rate, Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq al-Rabiah said last week. Saudi Arabia's death rate is about 10 times lower than the global rate which is around 7 percent.
Since the start of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has worked to provide thousands of beds and ventilators for treating patients, according to the health minister. Only 4 percent of ventilators and beds are being used in the Kingdom.
“The good news is that 96 percent [of the beds and ventilators] are vacant today,” al-Rabiah said. “And with the implementation of preventative measures, we will not need them.”
However, the danger of such a pandemic still exits, according to al-Rabiah. He continued to urge people to comply with preventative measures and described residents as the Kingdom’s “partners in confronting the virus.”
Saudi Arabia continues to assess the implemented precautionary measures and has been adjusting accordingly. Authorities partially lifted restrictions last month through May 13.