Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia records 1,869 new cases in ‘worrisome’ rise says spokesman

Muslims perform the Al-Fajr prayer inside the Al-Rajhi Mosque while practicing social distancing, after the announcement of the easing of lockdown measures amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 31, 2020. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia has recorded 1,869 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, raising the total to 89,011, a health ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Despite its increasing numbers, the Kingdom has seen 17,340 new recoveries over the past week, raising the total to 65,790, the spokesman added.

Meanwhile, 138 people who had previously tested positive for the virus in the Saudi Arabia have died over the past seven days, raising the death toll to 549.

Most of Saudi Arabia's 22,672 active cases are in stable condition while 1,264 people are in critical condition, spokesman Dr. Mohammed al-Abd al-Ali said during a live press conference.

“It's worrisome that the numbers have increased over the past few days, especially in the older population and those with preexisting conditions,” he said.

The spokesman said the increase in numbers is a result of the lack of commitment to preventative measures such as social distancing.

He continued to urge people to maintain social distancing and to wear a mask while in public.

The government introduced a set of fines last week for those who violate the guidelines. Not wearing a face mask or refusing a temperature check when entering facilities could result in a 1,000 riyals ($266) fine.

Saudi Arabia maintains high recovery numbers, low death rate

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.”

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.

With the Kingdom slowly easing restrictions, the health minister confirmed to Al Arabiya on Saturday 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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Last Update: Wednesday, 03 June 2020 KSA 07:22 - GMT 04:22
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