Saudi Arabia passes 50,000 coronavirus cases

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Arabia surpassed 50,000 cases of coronavirus on Saturday.

The kingdom registered 2,840 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to 52,016. Almost half (23,666) of Saudi's new total case numbers have recovered. The death toll stands at 302.

Capital Riyadh was hardest hit with new cases at 839, followed by Jeddah with 450 new infections.

Daily cases of the disease in Saudi Arabia exceeded 2000 on Thursday.

As cases grew, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar bin Ibrahim Al Khorayef sought to reassure business owners, saying the ministry is “constantly working to evaluate and address all the challenges facing the pioneers of the industrial sector in various parts of the Kingdom,” adding that the crisis “despite its ferocity, has resulted in some gains that will serve the industrial sector in our country in the long term”.

Confirmed coronavirus cases overall in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia hit 78,000 on Saturday.

Syrian medics check the temperature of Muslim worshippers before entering the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus to attend the Friday prayer, following the authorities' decision to allow prayers on Fridays in disinfected mosques with strict social distancing and protection measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. President Bashar al-Assad warned earlier this month of a "catastrophe" in war-battered Syria if the easing of lockdown measures against coronavirus is mishandled. AFP

Syrian Muslims wearing face masks listen to the Friday prayer sermon at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, following the authorities' decision to allow prayers on Fridays in disinfected mosques with strict social distancing and protection measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. President Bashar al-Assad warned earlier this month of a "catastrophe" in war-battered Syria if the easing of lockdown measures against coronavirus is mishandled. AFP

Shi'ite Muslims visit the Imam Ali shrine during the holy month of Ramadan, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq. REUTERS

People observe social distancing on a metro carriage in Istanbul, a few hours before the weekend lockdown because of the coronavirus. Teenagers were able to leave their homes for the first time in 42 days on Friday, as their turn came for a few hours of respite from Turkey's coronavirus lockdowns. Turkey has subjected people aged 65 and over and those younger than 20, to a curfew for the past several weeks. AP Photo

People walk on Istiklal street, the main shopping street in Istanbul, a few hours before the weekend lockdown due to the coronavirus. Teenagers were able to leave their homes for the first time in 42 days on Friday, as their turn came for a few hours of respite from Turkey's coronavirus lockdowns. Turkey has subjected people aged 65 and over and those younger than 20, to a curfew for the past several weeks. AP Photo

A fighter loyal to Yemen's Huthi rebels acting as security, looks on while wearing a face mask and latex gloves and slinging a Kalashnikov assault rifle as volunteers part of a community-led initiative to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease gather in Yemen's capital Sanaa. AFP

Algerian Food Bank volunteers, wearing face masks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, prepare packages of food aid as part of the "SOLIRAM" solidarity campaign to assist families in need during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at the "20 August" (20 Aout 1955) Stadium in the capital Algiers. AFP

A Palestinian refugee elderly woman, who witnessed the 1948 Nakba, looks out of her house's entrance door at Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, as Palestinians marked the 72nd anniversary of "Nakba" (Day of Catastrophe) inside their homes due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The "Nakba" commemorates the mass displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes in the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation. AFP

A sign reminds customers to stay at a safe distance from each other at a bakery in the nearly deserted Hayat mall in the Saudi capital Riyadh, after the lockdown measures due to the novel coronavirus were partially eased by the authorities. AFP

People gather to buy hot sugar drenched 'bomboloni' donut, in the village of Sidi Bou Said near Tunis, Tunisia. After four days in Tunisia without COVID-19 infections, the Tunisian government has decided to ease the curfew from 11 pm to five am. This decision prompted people to leave their homes after breaking their fast. This is the case here in Sidi Bou Saïd, the Tunisians took advantage of the open donut shops to taste this typical pastry from the city. EPA

Several people show their passports at the Beni-Enzar border crossing in Melilla, Spain. Some 200 Moroccans have been able to return to their country this Friday after being trapped in Melilla for two months by the border closure that the Alawite authorities decreed on March 13 as a result of the coronavirus health crisis. EPA

Responding to a rise in cases, Kuwait entered a 20-day “total” lockdown on May 10, allowing citizens to leave home only for essential shopping and exercise.

Many in need of medical prescriptions saw them delivered by an unusual courier service. The Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) said Friday it delivered over 30,000 prescribed medications to citizens' homes over a period of 35 days.

Lt. Colonel Dr Fayez Al Nassar, Director of KFSD Vocational Health and Safety, said since the start of the full curfew, the directorate had added 200 staff to the team, taking the total to 450, covering deliveries in all governorates.

Kuwait currently has 12,860 cases of the virus, with 107 deaths.

A man in the country’s Salwa Area was forced to undertake mandatory quarantine beginning May 15 after violating rules for nationals returning from abroad.

Authorities told state news service KUNA a Kuwaiti man in his 50s was discovered exercising outdoors via a tracking bracelet all repatriated citizens are required to wear.

Returnees to Kuwait from abroad must wear the bracelet and quarantine at home for 28 days.

The Ministry of Health said the man would face legal action after his period of quarantine.

British Ministers praise Bahrain’s response to the virus on Friday and thanked the government for assisting in the return of British citizens.

UK Ambassador to Bahrain, Roderick Drummond, said he valued the co-operation of the Kingdom of Bahrain in facilitating the return of British nationals from the Republic of India and other countries through Bahrain International Airport, adding the British nationals in the Kingdom of Bahrain are comfortable with the health care and support provided to them.

“If you test Covid-19 positive, you become a guest of Bahrain for a month until no symptoms are shown. Meals and boarding are taken care of by the Kingdom," CEO of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Ausamah Al Absi told a virtual meeting of British MPs and their Bahraini counterparts.

“Xenophobia was one of our biggest concerns but people have shown that they are welcoming."

Bahrain has seen 6,655 of the virus and 12 deaths.

Updated: May 16, 2020 06:59 PM

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