Saudi Arabia’s daily cases exceed 2,000 for first time

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Daily new coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia exceeded 2,000 for the first time and infections continued to rise sharply across the GCC, official data showed on Thursday.

The Saudi Health Ministry said 2,039 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, bringing the number of cases in the kingdom to 46,869, including 283 deaths.

At the beginning of Ramadan, Saudi Arabia eased lockdowns and allowed shops and factories to reopen, citing the social nature of the holy month and the need to resume at least part of the economic cycle in the country.

But officials gave a warning that the easing should not be taken as a licence to ignore social distancing measures and other precautions to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said this week that lockdown measures would be tightened again, with a resumption of curfews across the country during the Eid holidays from May 23 to May 27.

Most GCC countries have eased lockdown measures for Ramadan.

Kuwait recorded 947 new cases on Thursday, bringing total infections there to 11,975.

The authorities said six more people died, for a total of 88.

Kuwaiti firefighters have been undergoing testing after infections were discovered in one unit, the official news agency said.

A fire official will also be investigated for broadcasting a video on social media “aimed at spreading lies and rumours” about the coronavirus, the agency said.

As part of official efforts to foster solidarity amid the contagion, Bahrain authorities will pay debts for women who were dealt “judicial sentencing”.

The Bahrain news agency said the move came upon the recommendation of Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim, wife of King Hamad.

Qatar’s Health Ministry said 1,733 more people were infected, and that there were now 24,902 active cases.

Total infections stood at 28,272.

Oman recorded 322 news cases, bringing the total to 4,341.

A medical worker assists another to dress up in protective gear at a tent in a newly opened field hospital in Makkah in Saudi Arabia. AFP

View of the field hospital set up in Cite Sportive d'El Menzah in Tunis, Tunisia. EPA

A man wears a protective face mask while jogging in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Reuters

A view shows traffic on the Zalka to Jal Al Dib motorway an hour before the start of a four-day nationwide lockdown, north of the Beirut. AFP

Barber Ali Sfar, wearing a face mask, dresses a boy's hair in Tunis. AP Photo

A man wearing a protective face mask waits outside a branch of Etisalat Egypt Telecommunications Company in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt. Reuters

A stop sign is displayed at a checkpoint where Jordanian police stand guard during curfew in Amman, Jordan. Reuters

Neighbours of the Jordanian caricaturist Osama Hajjaj, team up in creating works of art on their roof in Amman. Reuters

Children enjoy a sunny day with their parents, after being allowed to go out for four hours for the first time since April 4 in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters

Children enjoy a sunny day with their parents, after being allowed to go out for four hours for the first time since April 4 in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters

A woman wears a face mask in Istanbul, Turkey. EPA

Cars drive past the blank billboards on the 6th of October Bridge in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters

Workers wearing protective face masks stand on a building under construction in the New Administrative Capital. east of Cairo.

Congolese Eouani Mambia Morelline, 40-year-old head of a collective for migrant women in Morocco, visits her neighbours while wearing a protective mask in the Moroccan capital Rabat. AFP

A Yemeni motorcyclist wears a protective face mask at a market in Sanaa, Yemen. EPA

Updated: May 14, 2020 08:54 PM

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