Saudi health authorities announced on Sunday, May 24, that 70,161 cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been confirmed in the country with 379 associated deaths.
An indefinite 24-hour curfew remains in effect in Baish province (Jazan region) as of May 24. The measure comes amid efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic within the country. All members of the public will be prohibited from entering or exiting the province; however, essential workers will be allowed to move within the province. Residents and citizens will be allowed to leave their homes for essential errands, such as buying food or medical supplies, between the times of 09:00 to 17:00 (local time). Only one person plus a driver will be allowed in cars to ensure adherence to social-distancing measures. All commercial activities will be suspended, with the exception of health facilities, pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations, and banks, among others. It was not immediately reported for how long the measures will be in place.
A daily curfew remains in place nationwide as of May 24, however, hours and restrictions vary depending on the location. Additionally, domestic travel remains prohibited, including domestic flights, buses, and some taxi and train services. All shops remain closed, with the exception of pharmacies and food stores. All international travel remains prohibited.
A countrywide 24-hour curfew will be in effect during the five-day Eid al-Fitr holiday from Saturday, May 23, through Wednesday, May 27, in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled the outbreak as a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
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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