The Saudi Ministry of Health spokesman Mohamed Al-Abd Al-Aali said that the Kingdom recorded 119 new cases of the virus, which raises the total number to 511, which is the highest so far among the Arab Gulf states.
The total number of cases in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council exceeded 1700 cases. Bahrain announced the second death from the virus on Sunday, which brings the total number of deaths in the Gulf Arab states to four.
Abd al-Aali said that 72 of the new diagnosed cases were Turks subjected to quarantine in the city of Mecca after they had contact with another Turkish citizen infected with the virus.
He added in a press conference that the kingdom has started to witness more “community cases of previous cases” and appealed to the citizens to stay in their homes.
He added that more than four thousand people are being quarantined.
The region expanded its measures to combat the outbreak of the disease, and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia took some of the most resolute steps that included stopping international flights, suspending work in most institutions and closing public places.
Gulf governments have announced stimulus packages to protect their energy producing economies, which have also been affected by a collapse in oil prices.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, wrote on Twitter that the UAE, the region’s tourism and business center, approved an additional support package of 16 billion dirhams ($ 4.36 billion) today, bringing the total stimulus package to 126 billion dirhams.
The dynamic tourism and hospitality sector in Dubai, the region’s most diversified economy, has been hit hard by the global travel disruption.
The state-owned Emirates airline, which is one of the largest airlines in the world, said it would temporarily suspend all passenger transport flights by March 25 while it will continue shipping operations.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said in a statement today, Sunday, that Emirates Airlines finds itself in a position where it cannot operate passenger transport services in an economically viable manner until the countries reopen their borders and restore confidence in travel.
The Dubai World Cup, one of the most famous horse races in the world, has been canceled.
Other Gulf states have expanded their precautionary measures.
On Sunday, the Sultanate of Oman banned gatherings in public places and decided to reduce the number of employees in workplaces in government agencies and to close exchange offices.
On Saturday, Kuwait imposed a partial curfew nationwide and extended the suspension of work in government and private institutions and companies for two weeks. A witness from Reuters said that some stores in Kuwait allow only 50 people to go shopping each time.
Qatar, which has recorded 481 cases of Coronavirus, most of it among migrant workers, is setting up checkpoints to ensure the ban on gatherings in public places is enforced.
($ 1 = 3.6729 dirhams)