More than 70 pct of Saudi Arabia's coronavirus cases have recovered: Minister

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More than 70 percent of Saudi Arabia’s confirmed coronavirus cases have recovered so far as a result of the Kingdom’s treatment protocols, the health minister told Al Arabiya on Saturday.

“We have treatment protocols developed by Saudi experts,” Dr. Tawfiq al-Rabiah said. “These protocols are continuously updated with any new global developments related to treatments and procedures.”

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The health minister also said the death toll in the Kingdom has remained low compared to other G20 countries. Despite it having the highest number of cases in the GCC, 480 people out of a total 83,384 have died due to COVID-19 complications in Saudi Arabia. The low number of fatalities has kept the death rate at less than 0.6 percent. Meanwhile, 58,883 people have recovered so far.

Other G20 global leaders such as the United States and the United Kingdom have struggled to manage the pandemic, based on their numbers. The US has so far confirmed over 1.7 million cases and 102,856 fatalities while the UK confirmed 272,615 cases and 38,243 deaths.

In addition to the treatment protocols, Saudi Arabia implemented strict measures in order to slow the spread of the virus when it still had very few confirmed cases, shutting down domestic and international travel, closing businesses, and eventually imposing 24-hour curfews on all major cities.

The Kingdom recently began lifting restrictions including allowing movement for residents within the country and travel between its provinces. More shops, including wholesale, retail and malls, have also been allowed to reopen, as long as all precautionary measures are adhered to.

The health minister confirmed to Al Arabiya that Saudi Arabia does not plan to return to lockdowns and further restrictions, however, this depends largely on society’s knowledge and compliance with precautionary measures in order to resume lifting restrictions.

“We are in the same boat,” al-Rabiah said. “If we all comply, then we will make it to safety. [Whoever doesn’t comply] will take us back [to restrictions].”

The health minister said Saudi Arabia continues to pursue the best available treatments, and if a vaccine become available, the Kingdom will strive to provide it as soon as possible.

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