Riyadh Saudi Arabia
General view of Riyadh city Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Saudi Arabia has recorded another 2,642 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom to 67,719, the Ministry of Health announced on Friday.

Despite an increase in daily confirmed infections, the number of recoveries continues to grow as well with 2,963 COVID-19 patients recovering fully, bringing the total number of patients recovered so far up to 39,003.

During the daily media briefing, the ministry also revealed 13 people have died from the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the country’s total fatalities toll to 364.

Riyadh has topped Friday’s list of cities with the highest number of COVID-19 cases with 865 people testing positive for the virus while Jeddah recorded 403 cases, Mecca 289 cases, and Medina 205 cases. Dammam also reported 194 new cases followed by Ad Diriyah with 118 new cases while Al Jubail confirmed 87 cases and Qatif 77 cases.

Speaking during the daily press briefing, Health Ministry’s spokesman Dr Mohammad Al Abdel Ali noted that the total number of recoveries has outpaced the overall tally of active cases, which now stands at 28,352.

Among the newly detected cases, 73 per cent are male while the rest are female divided as follows: 11 per cent are children, 85 per cent are adults while 4 per cent are among the elderly.

Curfew Kingdom wide

According to the official spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, the Kingdom is going to impose the total curfew across all regions in the country today at 5pm.

“We will follow up on the implementation of the total curfew decision in residential neighborhoods, resting sites, and other public areas. However, paper permits are still accepted and will not be canceled as long as there is no official decision to do so”, the ministry’s spokesperson added.

He further said that the excluded economic and commercial activities will continue to operate during the curfew period. Restaurants will be allowed to work from 6 am until 10pm for delivery orders only.

The official urged all members of the public to strictly adhere to the safety and health precautions and regulations to prevent a further outbreak of the virus.

First case

The Kingdom confirmed its first cases on March 2 when an infected Saudi Arabian national returned from Iran. Government officials were quick to implement measures including lockdowns, curfew, shutting down domestic and international travel, as well as closing businesses and mosques. Saudi Arabia even suspended prayers in Islam's two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.

Despite easing some restrictions and re-opening malls and businesses under strict measures, family gatherings of more than five people are still banned throughout the country. All gatherings for occasions such as weddings, funerals, parties, and such have also been banned. Overnight, the Ministry of Interior announced that residents who violate any coronavirus-related precautionary measures will be deported and banned from re-entry.