COVID-19. Image Credit: REUTERS

Abu Dhabi: Saudi police have arrested 10 people infected with COVID-19 for violating isolation rules, a security official said, as the kingdom steps up efforts to curb the spread of the disease.

The 10 were arrested in Tabuk, northwestern Saudi Arabia, for infringing isolation instructions after they had tested positive for coronavirus, a spokesman for police in the Tabuk region added.

“Their behaviour is a violation of the precautionary and preventive measures taken to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Disciplinary procedures have been taken against them and they have been referred to public prosecution,” he said.

Under the Saudi laws, whoever violates the instructions for isolation or quarantine shall be punished with a fine of up to SR200, 000, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or both, and in the event of a repeat violation, the penalty shall be doubled.

If the violation was committed by residents, they shall be punished with deportation from Saudi Arabia, and shall be permanently prohibited from entering the country after serving their term.