Gatherings of more than 5 banned in Saudi Arabia as virus death toll reaches 219

Under the laws, announced by the Ministry of Interior on Thursday, gatherings of more than five people are banned in Saudi Arabia. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 08 May 2020

Gatherings of more than 5 banned in Saudi Arabia as virus death toll reaches 219

  • Gatherings of more than five people are banned in the Kingdom
  • Also on Thursday, the Kingdom’s health ministry announced 1,793 new cases of COVID-19

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior announced a new list of regulations intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on Thursday, introducing fines ranging from SR5,000 ($1,333) to SR100,000 ($26,666). A source at the ministry said the regulations to limit public gatherings had been approved by royal decree.

The new rules prohibit any gathering containing people from than one family who share the same home, or one consisting of five or more people with no residential relationship.

A minimum fine of SR5,000 ($1,333) will be imposed on any person attending or organizing an illegal gathering, but those found to be breaking the rules risk a fine of up to SR10,000 ($2,666) if gathering with family members with whom they do not reside; a fine of SR15,000 ($4,000) for socializing in a residence or public area with non-family members; a SR30,000 ($8,000) fine for events including weddings, funerals, parties and seminars, or at salons and other businesses; and SR50,000 ($13,333) for workers gathering in houses, buildings under construction, rest houses or farms that are not their residences.

The ministry has also instigated a range of fines from SR5,000 ($1,333) up to SR100,000 ($26,666) for any gathering of customers or employees inside or outside commercial establishments that exceeds the numbers stipulated in the precautionary measures.

FASTFACT

• 25,714 is the total number of active cases in Saudi Arabia.

• 7,798 is the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom.

• 145 is the number of patients in critical condition.

Repeat offenders will face incremental increases in fines, with private-sector facilities facing three-month closures for their first offense and six-month closures and referral to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution for their second.

Security units have been formed to monitor and implement these regulations, the source said. But members of the public are also urged to report any illegal gatherings using the toll-free number 999 (or 911 in the Makkah region).

The Kingdom recorded a total of 1,793 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday — 25 percent of whom are Saudis and 75 percent expats — bringing the total number of cases recorded to 33,731. There are currently 25,714 people infected with COVID-19, 145 of whom are in critical condition.

Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, announced 1,015 new recoveries, meaning that 7,798 people have now recovered from COVID-19 in the Kingdom, while 10 new deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 219. The latest fatalities were a Saudi male and nine expats from Madinah, Makkah, Khobar, Riyadh and Jeddah aged between 30 and 78.

Al-Abd Al-Aly also reminded parents not to forget their children’s immunization jabs, encouraging them to use the ministry’s Mawid app to set up appointments. He said medical centers are taking “every precaution” to ensure the safety of all visitors. 

 


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.