Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia confirms 392 cases, urges people to stay home

A man wears a protective face mask, as he walks, after Saudi Arabia imposed a temporary lockdown on the province of Qatif, following the spread of coronavirus, in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, March 10, 2020. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia announced 48 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 392, according to a health ministry spokesman.

Five of the new cases are healthcare workers in Riyadh. The rest of the cases were infected when they were in close contact with other infected cases, the spokesman added.

Read more: Social gatherings cause 33 percent of coronavirus infections in Saudi Arabia

Read the latest coronavirus updates in our dedicated section.

The spokesman also emphasized the significance of self-isolation and a 14-day quarantines. But what is most important, he said, is having people stay at home and away from gatherings to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“Gatherings at home are dangerous as well,” the spokesman warned.


Even small gatherings of 5 to 20 people are discouraged.

“Don’t think not shaking hands or washing your hands will protect you,” he said. “It’s a prevention step but isn’t everything.”

The spokesman added that young men and women considering themselves immune to the virus is “unacceptable.” He reiterated the World Health Organization’s warning about not thinking being young will prevent a person from being hospitalized due to an infection from the new coronavirus.

He wrapped up the press conference by emphasizing once more the need to stay home and to self-isolate.

“Not as an official health ministry spokesman…but as a doctor, as a friend, as a brother…stay at home as much as possible and stay away from the dangers of gatherings.”

Out of all confirmed cases, 16 have fully recovered as of Saturday. The remaining patients are still receiving medical care while in quarantine, but most are in stable conditions. Only two are in critical conditions, the spokesman said.

Two-thirds of those infected are Saudi nationals.

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Last Update: Sunday, 22 March 2020 KSA 06:57 - GMT 03:57
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