News Alerts

19 Aug 2020 | 01:34 AM UTC

Saudi Arabia: Over 300,000 COVID-19 cases reported as of August 18 /update 44

Saudi Arabia News Alert

Authorities report over 300,000 COVID-19 cases as of August 18; further spread of the virus expected in the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/19/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/26/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Riyadh). COUNTRY/REGION Saudi Arabia

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Event

Saudi Arabian health authorities have recorded over 300,000 confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases as of Tuesday, August 18. In the last 24 hours, 1409 new COVID-19 cases have been reported with 34 associated deaths bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 301,323 with 3470 associated deaths.

Face coverings remain mandatory in public places, while gatherings of over 50 people are prohibited. Cafes, restaurants, and places of worship have reopened.

Additionally, Saudi authorities reopened land borders with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Kuwait on August 5, as the country continues to gradually ease restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country's land borders had been closed for travelers since March 7.

Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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