Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia records 2,039 new cases, highest daily increase so far

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Saudi Arabia recorded 2,039 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, its highest daily increase yet, raising the total to 46,869, according to the health ministry.

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There was a significant increase of 125 percent in children testing positive for the virus recently, and 100 percent increase in females. Spokesman Dr. Mohammed al-Abd al-Ali said the increase is a result of social gatherings and non-compliance with preventative measures implemented.

“This shows that these types of social activities, and these gatherings, are highly dangerous and negatively affected a group of individuals,” he said during the daily press conference.

Read also: Four families in Saudi Arabia infected after group Ramadan iftar

Forty-one percent of the newly confirmed cases are of Saudi nationals. Most cases previously recorded in the Kingdom were of people living in densely populated residential areas, especially neighborhoods that house laborers, according to the health ministry.

“This increase [in Saudi nationals testing positive] is also associated with social gatherings,” the spokesman added.

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Saudi Arabia recently banned gatherings and groups of more than five people under new regulations to slow the spread of the virus. Gatherings that include more than one family and individuals who are not members of the same family are not allowed.

The spokesman continued to urge people to only go out when absolutely necessary and to avoid crowds in order to not contract or spread the virus.

The Kingdom has maintained an increasing number of recoveries while the death toll remains relatively low. The ministry announced 1,429 new recoveries raising the total to 19,051. The death toll climbed to 283 after 10 new fatalities were recorded over the past 24 hours.

In its latest efforts to slow the spread of the virus, Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it will impose a 24-hour lockdown for the Muslim Eid holiday when Ramadan ends next week.

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