Saudi Arabia announces 16 more deaths from COVID-19 as restrictions partially eased

The health ministry urged citizens and residents to abide by measures to prevent the spread of the virus as the Kingdom starts to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions from Thursday. (SPA)
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Updated 29 May 2020

Saudi Arabia announces 16 more deaths from COVID-19 as restrictions partially eased

  • The health ministry announced 3,531 new cases of recovery
  • Saudi Arabia will see a partial ease in coronavirus lockdown restrictions from Thursday

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has issued a reminder that people must act responsibly even though lockdown measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic have been eased, stressing that the disease still poses a significant risk to lives.

“The pandemic continues, and the virus is present. None of us wants to lose anyone, so do not (risk hurting) yourself or transmitting the virus to your parents and children because of recklessness and negligence,” said ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. “We are tasked with protecting precious lives, and we must fulfill our duty to adhere to healthy behaviors.”

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The total number of coronavirus cases in KSA reached 80,185.

Saudi authorities launched a detailed timetable on Monday for a three-stage easing of coronavirus restrictions, designed to introduce a return to normal life in the Kingdom in less than a month. But Al-Aly stressed that all areas of the Kingdom will be constantly monitored and regularly evaluated, and the Health Ministry may consider a return to stricter precautionary measures if necessary.

“As long as a pandemic exists, waves may occur at certain rates — it is expected to return in waves. We hope for low levels at acceptable rates. The risk is that the waves may be too high or difficult to be contained,” he said, adding that people must remember to follow social distancing guidelines, maintain personal hygiene and wear face masks as instructed. The Kingdom recorded 16 new COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday, raising the total to 441.

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The total number of active cases in Saudi Arabia reached 25,191.

There were 1,644 new cases were reported in the Kingdom, meaning 80,185 people have now contracted the disease. There are 25,191 active cases.

The Health Ministry also announced that 3,531 more patients had recovered from coronavirus, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 54,553.

Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 770,696 tests for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that Umrah is still suspended at the moment, adding that the decision will reviewed regularly as the situation develops.


Saudi Arabia reopens its land borders with UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain

Updated 11 min 16 sec ago

Saudi Arabia reopens its land borders with UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain

  • Commercial traffic flows unhindered as measures to curb spread of virus eased and normality returns

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s land borders with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain will reopen after a four-month closure as the Kingdom eases the pandemic’s restrictions and economic activity returns to normal.

Commercial trucks carrying goods for the Kingdom will also be allowed to enter through land ports from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states following a circular issued by Saudi Customs.

On March 7, the Kingdom announced that land border crossings with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain would be limited to commercial trucks as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile Saudi Customs officials are taking the lead in identifying air travelers harboring COVID-19 by employing specially trained sniffer dogs.

On March 7, the Kingdom announced that land border crossings with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain would be limited to commercial trucks as part of the government’s efforts to contain the virus spread.

The canine virus detectors are being drafted in at airports throughout the Kingdom to help pick up the scent of infected passengers. Following the resumption of international flights, customs staff in Saudi Arabia are to use the animals as part of their efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

Saudi health authorities recorded 1,342 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the total number in the Kingdom to 281,435. The death toll rose by 35 to 2,984

Of the latest cases, 97 were in Riyadh, 56 in Makkah, 53 in Madinah and Hafr Al-Batin, and 51 in Dammam, with 40 percent of them women.

There were 34,763 active cases, with most patients in a stable condition, and 1,983 critical.

The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 increased to 243,688, with 1,635 of those being in the latest 24-hour period.