Saudi Arabia announces 24 more COVID-19 deaths

Customers queue for a temperature check before entering a mobile shop in Makkah. (AFP)
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Updated 03 June 2020

Saudi Arabia announces 24 more COVID-19 deaths

  • Of the new cases, 556 were recorded in Riyadh, 300 in Makkah and 279 in Jeddah
  • The ministry said it had witnessed an increase in cases of elderly patients

JEDDAH: An “alarming” rise in the number of critical care coronavirus patients “in the past few days” was due to not adhering to social distancing measures, Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said on Tuesday.

There are currently 1,264 patients receiving treatment for COVID-19 in intensive care units. The recent increase “included different age groups, but mostly the elderly and those with chronic illnesses,” and are “mostly in Jeddah and Riyadh,” he said.

He stressed the importance of following precautionary measures such as wearing a face mask, social distancing, washing hands, limiting gatherings and avoiding handshakes.

“This increase in critical cases indicates that there are unhealthy activities such as large gatherings occurring,” he said.

“We should take a moment to reflect on our behavior and how it may affect the health of our mothers and fathers, and our loved ones surrounding us. We should commit to the given healthy guidelines.”

The Interior Ministry previously announced penalties for violators. The penalty for family gatherings of more than 50 people at homes, rest houses or farms is SR10,000 ($2,664).

The penalty for nonfamily gatherings of more than 50 people is SR15,000. For funerals and parties of more than 50 people, it is SR40,000. The penalty doubles if the violation is repeated.

Noncompliance by private sector entities will also result in SR10,000 fine. The private sector must ensure that employees returning to work should adhere to all precautions such as wearing a face mask. Companies should provide disinfectants and check employees’ and customers’ temperature. Shopping malls and markets should ensure that carts and baskets are disinfected properly and regularly.

A total of 1,869 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Kingdom on Tuesday, meaning 89,011 people in Saudi Arabia had now contracted the disease. There are currently 22,672 active cases.

A total of 1,484 newly recovered cases were announced, taking the total number of recoveries to 65,790. Twenty-four new deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 549.

More than 850,000 polymerase chain reaction tests have been conducted in the Kingdom so far.


Saudi anti-graft agency probes 105 corruption cases in different sectors

Updated 08 July 2020

Saudi anti-graft agency probes 105 corruption cases in different sectors

  • A Nazaha official said the Kingdom will continue to pursue cases of misappropriation of public money
  • The cases involved fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption

RIYADH: The Saudi Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has initiated 105 corruption cases in the health, interior, power, and education sectors.
The cases involved fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption.
A Nazaha official said the Kingdom will continue to pursue cases of misappropriation of public money and harming state interests.
One of the cases involves the arrest of three employees working at the Saudi Electricity Co. for receiving a bribe amounting to €535,000 ($604,570) from a French company and opening bank accounts in another country (at the request of the company) for money laundering. Another case is the arrest of a university faculty member for asking for a bribe amounting to SR80,000 ($21,328) from a number of companies working on different projects at the university.
The authority also arrested a doctor at the Ministry of Health for violating the regulations at a quarantine facility.
A brigadier general was arrested for using his official vehicle to facilitate the passage of another private vehicle through security points during the curfew period.