Ramadan gatherings cause COVID-19 cases among Saudi children, women to soar

Ramadan gatherings cause COVID-19 cases among Saudi children, women to soar
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A Saudi volunteer supervisor wearing a protective face mask and gloves checks the temperature of another volunteer before preparing boxes of Iftar meals provided by a charity organisation following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the holy month of Ramadan, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 10, 2020. (Reuters)
Ramadan gatherings cause COVID-19 cases among Saudi children, women to soar
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The Eastern Province municipality has installed its first automated vehicle sanitization unit on one of the regions’ main roads as part of its preventive anti-coronavirus measures. The unit can automatically sanitize vehicles as they pass through it while providing the drivers with awareness-raising messages. (SPA)
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Updated 15 May 2020

Ramadan gatherings cause COVID-19 cases among Saudi children, women to soar

Ramadan gatherings cause COVID-19 cases among Saudi children, women to soar
  • Health Ministry reports total 46,869 virus cases; death toll reaches 283

JEDDAH: Cases of the killer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among Saudi children were on Thursday reported to have shot up by 125 percent during Ramadan, health officials revealed.

And a “dangerous” rise of 100 percent in infections among women over the same festival period prompted fresh warnings from authorities for people to avoid social gatherings and adhere to preventive measures aimed at stopping a second deadly wave of the virus.

Saudi Arabia’s R0 — pronounced R-naught — infections rating was getting perilously close to one, said Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. Above that figure, each infection among the population would cause more than one new COVID-19 case, and the disease would spread exponentially, resulting in an outbreak. If R0 was below one, the disease would shrink and eventually die out.

FASTFACT

27,535

is the total number of active cases in Saudi Arabia.

“The number of reported cases for children has gone up to 125 percent, and there’s been a 100 percent increase for females as well, which proves that social gatherings are dangerous,” he added.

Pointing to the upcoming Eid curfew, Al-Aly warned that if people neglected social distancing and ignored safety regulations the number of COVID-19 cases could spiral.

FASTFACT

19,051

is the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom.

He said: “What is the point of curfew? Why is the government implementing all these preventive measures and steps? Is it all to cheat the system and create opportunities to dispel what is meant to keep us healthy? Harming ourselves and society? Shouldn’t we instead abide and be very careful to follow the regulations to save ourselves and our loved ones?

“It is our responsibility as individuals to save each other. The point is not for a day or two to pass where you follow preventive measures. The point is to follow through until the pandemic is a thing of the past.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Thursday recorded 2,039 new cases of COVID-19 — 41 percent of them were Saudis and the rest expats — taking the total number to 46,869. There were 27,535 active cases, 156 of which were in critical condition.

Al-Aly announced 1,429 recoveries — making 19,051 in all — and 10 new fatalities, raising the Kingdom’s death toll to 283. The latest deaths involved expatriates of several nationalities in Makkah, Jeddah, Yanbu, and Riyadh aged between 43 and 90, most of whom had chronic diseases.

Decoder

WHAT IS COVID-19 R VALUE?

R0, or R-naught, which stands for reproduction number, is a way of rating the ability of a disease to spread. It is the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to. If the R value is higher than 1, an outbreak increases exponentially. If it is below 1, the disease would shrink and eventually die out. Saudi Arabia's R0 was getting perilously close to one, said Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly on Thursday.