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Saudi Arabia reports first case of coronavirus

Saudi Arabia on Monday confirmed its first case of the pandemic coronavirus, its ministry of health said, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The patient, according to CNN, which cited the ministry, was a Saudi man who had returned from Iran to the Kingdom via Bahrain. It added that the man had not revealed his travel history in advance.
Results from a sample taken from the man — who was checked by an infection control team — confirmed that he was infected with COVID-19. He was subsequently admitted to a hospital isolation ward where he was being treated.
The Kingdom’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control also collected samples from all those who had contacted the infected person.
The Kingdom had prepared 25 hospitals beforehand to handle any coronavirus cases, the ministry’s spokesperson, Mohammed Abdelali, had said a day earlier, as part of the precautionary measures that included closing its borders to foreign Umrah pilgrims.
At least 2,200 hospital beds were dedicated for quarantine cases, Abdelali had told a news conference. Saudi Arabia’s trade activity had not been impacted and was “going as usual”, he had said at the time.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia — which has Islam’s two holiest sites — had announced a ban on foreigners coming to the kingdom for Umrah, which can take place at any time of the year, on tourists from at least 25 countries where the virus has been found.
Other Gulf Arab states have reported coronavirus cases, with many of them linked to visits to Iran — which has so far reported 66 deaths and 1,501 confirmed cases — or involving people who have come into contact with people who had been there.



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