Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia infections climb as social distancing ignored, ministry

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The rate of infection of the novel coronavirus is rising in Saudi Arabia once again due to a lack of adherence with social distancing measures, the Kingdom’s health ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Abd al-Ali said on Sunday.

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The increase in the rate of infection, which had dropped to a low of one percent in May, is an indication that some citizens and residents have not been following preventative measures and avoiding large gatherings, al-Abd al-Ali said.

Saudi Arabia reported Sunday its highest daily number of new cases, with 4,233 infections detected in just 24 hours. Most new cases were found in the capital Riyadh, where officials say hundreds have failed to comply with public health measures.

“We have two paths in front of us. This rate could increase, infections may rise, and its spread could rise if members of the public continue to not adhere to preventative measures in several places, especially in places where there is a number of people around them,” he said.

“The public could also take matters into their own hands and follow the preventative measures and return to our normal lives with caution so that the rate of infection decreases again,” al-Abd al-Ali added.

The plan to ease restrictions in most areas in the Kingdom is being implemented as expected, according to the spokesman.

However, some areas are falling behind, but are being closely monitored by authorities to determine a better suited plan to ensure the situation does not worsen, he said.

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