Saudi Arabia records first coronavirus death

Medical vehicles to be used as field hospital, are seen at the parking of the King Fahad Medical City, amid fear of the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia March 23, 2020. (The Saudi Defense Ministry/Handout via Reuters)
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Updated 25 March 2020

Saudi Arabia records first coronavirus death

  • The Afghan national died on Monday night at a hospital in Madinah
  • The ministry reported 205 new cases on Tuesday

JEDDAH: Saudi health authorities on Tuesday urged citizens to avoid “even small gatherings” which could prove “very dangerous” in spreading the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The warning came as the Kingdom reported its first death from the virus – a 51-year-old Afghan resident in Madinah – and 205 new cases of infection, the biggest single daily jump since the start of the outbreak.

Ministry of Health spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, urged people to stay indoors for as long as possible to help the Kingdom’s efforts to slow the spread of the killer COVID-19.

“We urge everyone to stay away from gatherings, whether these gatherings are of a limited number or not. Of course, gathering in larger numbers is undoubtedly very dangerous, but even in limited numbers inside houses or outside homes is very dangerous and we warn everyone of gatherings,” he said.

Speaking at a daily press conference on the health crisis, Al-Aly pointed out that the number of reported cases of infection around the world was still rising, as were deaths.

Of the 205 newly registered cases in Saudi Arabia, more than half (119) had been linked to travel and people coming into the country from abroad, he said, adding that all the individuals were in isolation.

“This fact gives importance of early precautionary steps to isolate cases healthily since their entry to Saudi Arabia, and thus the emergence of these cases, is proactively controlled and monitored,” said Al-Aly.



Officials revealed a cities breakdown of new and announced cases in the Kingdom showing Jeddah the highest with 82, Riyadh (69),  Al-Baha (12), Bisha (8), Najran (8), Abha (6), Dammam (6), Qatif (6), Jazan (3), Alkhobar (2), Dhahran (2) and Madinah (1).

“The total number confirmed in Saudi Arabia, from the beginning of case registration, is 767,” the ministry spokesman added. “Most cases are stable and reassuring. They are receiving appropriate health care in accordance with standards and treatment guides, and three cases among them are critical with one death.”

The Afghan man who died had applied for health care at an emergency department, but his condition was already at an advanced and critical stage. “His health deteriorated rapidly, and he died last night,” said Al-Aly.

However, nine more patients had recovered from the COVID-19 infection taking the total to 28.

“We hope, God willing, for those who receive health care, who are infected with this virus, safety, recovery and wellness. We continue to assure everyone of the importance of adhering to health advice, instructions and guidelines,” added Al-Aly.

He urged people to observe personal hygiene, such as frequently washing their hands, to stay at home for as long as possible, not to attend any meetings or gatherings, and to keep away from anyone in health isolation for at least 14 days.

Citizens experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should call 937, use a medical app such as Sehha, or contact their nearest health center or hospital.

King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, right, receives the closing statement of the S20 group from its chair Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares. (SPA)
Updated 29 September 2020

King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

  • The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state

On behalf of King Salman, Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday received the closing statement of the Science Group Summit (S20) from the group’s chair, Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares, who is also the president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, after a virtual meeting.
Several scientific organizations from the G20 countries took part in the meeting, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia. The S20 group focuses on future health, a circular economy and the digital revolution. The meeting stressed the importance of making decisions based on scientific facts supported by data.
The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state. More than 180 scholars participated in drafting the recommendation. They called for increasing the level of preparedness in the wake of a pandemic. They also recommended consolidating advanced treatment and precision medical research with a particular focus on keeping the costs affordable and treatments accessible to all.
The group also stressed the need to devise policies to face challenges arising from demographic shifts. One of the recommendations includes development of an integrated approach to the extraction of natural resources.
They also urged the relevant authorities to consolidate recycling systems to curb carbon emissions.