COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia surpass 10,000

Customers queue outside a supermarket while maintaining social distancing during a nationwide curfew to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the Saudi capital Riyadh on April 13, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 21 April 2020

COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia surpass 10,000

  • Increase in number of COVID-19 cases in Kingdom a result of active testing
  • Of total cases, 8,891 are under treatment and 88 of them are in a critical condition

JEDDAH: The number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom has surpassed 10,000, Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said on Monday.

Al-Rabiah had warned about a spike in the number of cases two weeks ago. He said that the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom was a result of active testing.

“Instead of waiting for someone to tell us they suspect a person might be infected and putting him in quarantine, we actively go to the high-risk areas and carry out tests to identify cases early,” he said.

Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, told a daily press briefing that 1,122 new cases were reported across the Kingdom on Monday.

He said of the total new cases, 874 were detected as a result of active testing carried out in crowded districts and other high-risk areas.

“This makes up 80 percent of the newly recorded cases in the Kingdom,” Al-Aly said.

The spokesman said that 27 percent of the cases were Saudis and the remaining 73 percent were reported among expatriates.

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He said females comprised 23 percent of the total cases reported on Monday. Al-Aly said that infections were reported among people of all age groups — from two-months-old to 96 years of age.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom has reached 10,484. Of the total cases, 8,891 are under treatment and 88 of them are in a critical condition.

Al-Aly said that 92 patients have recovered from the disease, taking the total number of those recovering to 1,490 while six new deaths had been reported, raising the death toll to 103.

The latest people to die were expats; five in Makkah and one in Jeddah, aged between 23 and 70, and most of them were suffering from chronic health conditions. 

As the fasting month of Ramadan is approaching, Al-Rabiah urged citizens and residents to abide by the rules to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are used to actively participate in social gatherings and visiting families during Ramadan but this year it will be different. We should abide by precautionary measures and practice social distancing to keep the virus under control,” the minister said.

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh on Friday also advised people to perform Taraweeh (special night prayers) and Eid prayers at home as a precaution to help the authorities fight the pandemic.


Saudi king, crown prince congratulate president-elect of Burundi on victory

Updated 31 May 2020

Saudi king, crown prince congratulate president-elect of Burundi on victory

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday congratulated Evariste Ndayishimiye on winning the presidential election in Burundi.

The king and crown prince wished Ndayishimiye success and the people of Burundi further progress and prosperity. 

Ndayishimiye, who was the ruling party’s candidate, was on Monday declared victorious after winning 68.72 percent of the vote.

Opposition leader Agathon Rwasa received 24.19 percent.

Ndayishimiye, 52, is a former army general and will replace President Pierre Nkurunziza.