JEDDAH/MANILA: Ten Saudi students were in quarantine on Sunday after being flown home from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak.
The students arrived in Riyadh on a private plane dispatched by Saudi authorities. They will spend two weeks in precautionary isolation, with full medical care and regular tests to guarantee their safety and prevent the spread of the virus.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it will continue to evacuate citizens who are still in China, and follow up on their departure one by one.
Meanwhile, precautions continue for all visitors to the Kingdom from China. More than 4,000 air passengers had been tested since Jan. 20, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday. Saudi Arabian Airlines also suspended flights from Riyadh and Jeddah to Guangzhou.
The airliner explained that its guests who have confirmed reservations on these trips can refund their tickets without any fees.
The Ministry of Health reassured citizens and residents once again that until now, there is no documented case of anyone affected by the novel coronavirus in the Kingdom.
Between January 20 and February 2, it has examined 62 samples and all tested negative for the coronavirus.
Moreover, 3,152 passengers coming from China via direct flights, and 868 by indirect flights were examined in the same period.
The ministry provided medical teams around the clock in all land, sea and air outlets which receive direct and indirect flights from China, and the National Health Laboratory has developed the necessary laboratory capacities to identify and detect the disease in record time since the emergence of the first contagious case in China and before the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the global epidemic.
Experience in handling more than 20 million pilgrims every year had given the Kingdom invaluable expertise in disease control and prevention, experts said. The new coronavirus has infected more than 14,000 people and killed 305 since it was identified in December.
All the deaths were in China until the Philippines said on Sunday that a 44-year-old Chinese visitor from Wuhan who tested positive for the virus had died. The man was the second confirmed case in the Philippines, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said. His wife, 38, was the first, and is undergoing treatment in medical isolation.