Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia reports six new fatalities, 493 new infections

Saudi policemen manning a checkpoint on King Fahd road in the capital Riyadh, after the Kingdom began implementing an 11-hour nationwide curfew. (File photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia reports six new coronavirus deaths and 493 new infections, raising the virus-related death toll in the Kingdom to 79 and the total number of confirmed cases to 5,862, the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday.

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The six new deaths are all of people who had chronic illnesses before they were infected with the virus.

They include two Saudi Arabian men in Medina who were between the ages of 70 and 72, a 67-year-old Saudi Arabian woman in Mecca, and three residents who were between the ages of 35 and 57, the ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Abd al-Ali during the daily coronavirus press conference held in Riyadh.

Out of the 493 new cases, 109 were reported in Medina, 86 in Hufof, 84 in Dammam, 69 in Jeddah, 56 in Riyadh, and 40 in Mecca.

Despite having the highest number of cases in the Arabian Gulf, the rate of daily increase in the Kingdom has been more steady than its neighbors since April 9.

However, Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah warned that cases in Saudi Arabia could reach up to 200,000 within weeks, four different studies showed.

Also read: Coronavirus: Thermal drones monitor body temperatures in Saudi Arabia’s al-Bahah

There is no evidence on how hotter weather could affect the coronavirus, al-Abd al-Ali had said on Tuesday, adding that people should refrain from believing rumors they hear.

Lifting the lockdown too early may have negative effects and the ministry has continued to assess the situation daily to determine when restrictions will be lifted, he added.

The ministry spokesman emphasized the urgent need for citizens and residents to remain at home and maintain social distancing practices to ensure that the virus does not spread further.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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