COVID-19: Saudi Arabia quarantines eastern Qatif

RIYADH, March 9  -- Saudi Arabia imposed a lockdown on its eastern Qatif area Sunday in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Anadolu Agency cited local news reports.All cases of the coronavirus detected in the country are from Qatif, the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing an official from the country's Health Ministry.While precautionary measures were increased in the quarantined area, work was suspended at all public and private businesses except for health centers, pharmacies, fuel stations and security branches.

Saudi Arabia also suspended entry and exit in the region, although commercial and food transportation will continue, the SPA said.The Ministry of Education also announced that education has been suspended across the country starting Monday to counter the coronavirus outbreak.In a statement, it said the number of cases in the country had risen to 11.

First detected in Wuhan city in central China in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to more than 80 countries.The global death toll is nearly 3,500 with over 100,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).After declaring the outbreak an international health emergency in January, the WHO last month updated the global risk level to "very high."--BERNAMA

Source: Bernama

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