COVID-19 deaths in Saudi double, toll reaches 1299

A Saudi man, wearing a protective mask as a precaution against COVID-19 coronavirus disease, walks past a mural showing the face of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, along Tahlia street in the centre of the capital Riyadh/AFP

JEDDAH: The number of coronavirus deaths in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia doubled to eight on Sunday expanding lockdown rules.

According to Reuters, as the health ministry said the kingdom reported another four death cases in Jeddah and Madina, taking the total to eight, despite drastic measures to contain it.

The confirmed 96 new infections cases are included in the total of 1299, the highest among Gulf Arab states.

Tough restrictions

On Sunday, the Saudi authorities imposed entry and exit bans on Jeddah, after doing so with the capital Riyadh and two of Islam’s holiest cities last week in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The Arab world’s biggest economy has also closed down cinemas, malls and restaurants, halted flights and suspended the year-round umrah pilgrimage as it steps up efforts to contain the virus.

King Salman warned last week of a “more difficult” fight ahead against the virus, as the kingdom faces the economic double blow of virus-led shutdowns and crashing oil prices.

This post was last modified on March 30, 2020 3:40 am

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