No coronavirus cases detected in Saudi so far – ministry

Saudi suspended travel to China for its citizens and residents last week



There has been no case of the new coronavirus detected in Saudi Arabia so far, the kingdom’s Health ministry confirmed on Tuesday.

The country has also implemented strict precautionary measures to prevent its spread, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing the ministry.

The ministry’s Command and Control Center (CCC) is following all the latest developments about the outbreak of the virus and is also coordinating with the relevant authorities to deal with the global issue.

Since the discovery of the virus in China, the CCC has taken precautionary measures and implemented international health regulations for such cases.

It has also coordinated with the kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation to assess direct and indirect flights from and to China in order to provide information to people who may be travelling to areas where infections have been recorded, monitoring people arriving from these areas, examining them and following up with them to ensure their safety, the report stated.

Last week, Saudi suspended travel to China for its citizens and residents in light of the new coronavirus epidemic.

The General Directorate of Passports added that any citizen found flouting the rule would be held accountable, while foreign residents would not be permitted to re-enter the country if they travelled to China.

Read: Saudi Arabia suspends travel to China on coronavirus fears

According to the latest update, the coronavirus death toll has reached 1,115, with confirmed cases in China alone standing at 44,653. Outside of China, 395 confirmed cases have been reported in 24 countries, including eight in the UAE, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO also outlined the basic principles to reduce the general risk of transmission of the infection –

• Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections

• Frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

• Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals

• People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands)

• Within healthcare facilities, enhance standard infection prevention and control practices in hospitals, especially in emergency departments

The WHO said it does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers.