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Thousands of Saudi nationals repatriated from abroad placed in isolation

Thousands of Saudi nationals repatriated from abroad placed in isolation

Over 11,000 rooms across the kingdom have been allocated to accommodate repatriated individuals for the 14-day isolation period

Saudi officials have confirmed that at least 1,639 Saudi nationals repatriated from outside the kingdom have been tested for coronavirus and placed in mandatory isolation as of Saturday, local daily Arab News reported.

The kingdom has been bringing back stranded Saudi citizens from around the world in line with a directive issued by Saudi King Salman last week.

Saudi nationals have been repatriated from Jakarta, Bahrain and Kuala Lumpur. On Monday morning, a flight from London landed in Riyadh with 254 passengers, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Passengers arriving from outside the kingdom have to go through 12 different preventive check-ups for Covid-19 in three stages — before boarding the plane, inside the cabin and upon arrival.

A checkpoint set up by the Ministry of Health has thermal cameras which scans all incoming passengers. Suspicious cases are isolated and transferred to a designated area.

Passengers must sanitise their hands before starting procedures at the passport and customs control area, and a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is maintained between the passenger and passport officer.

After the process is completed, the passengers are taken to buses to transport them to designated guesthouses.

The Ministry of Tourism has allocated over 11,000 rooms across the kingdom to accommodate repatriated individuals for the 14-day isolation period.

The first flight repatriating Saudi citizens came from Jakarta with 250 passengers onboard. On Saturday, Saudi nationals also arrived from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

The special flights are allowed to land at three airports – King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Fahd International Airport in Dammam.

As part of the first phase, the kingdom will receive its citizens from Jakarta, Washington, Kuala Lumpur, Mauritius, Muscat, London, Manila, Maldives, Colombo and New York, the Arab News report stated.

Read: Saudi arranging special flights to bring back its citizens stuck abroad

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health confirmed 429 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the country’s biggest rise in daily infections reported until now.

The total number of cases within the kingdom stands at 4,462.

Read: Saudi Arabia reports 429 new Covid-19 cases, 7 deaths

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