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  • Saudi Arabia expands travel ban to and from EU, 12 more countries as cases jump to 45 in KSA

Saudi Arabia expands travel ban to and from EU, 12 more countries as cases jump to 45 in KSA

12 Mar 2020
The total cases have risen to 45. (Shutterstock)
The total cases have risen to 45. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 12 Mar 2020
12 Mar 2020
  • Among the 24 new cases are a man and woman returning from Iraq, and a 12-year-old girl whose grandfather recently visited Iran
  • The remaining 21 infected individuals are Egyptians who had been in contact with a countryman who previously tested positive

Arab news

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday temporarily stopped all travel to and from almost all of Europe and 12 more countries in Asia and Africa as the number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom jumped to 45.

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday said the latest cases include a man and a woman who were tested and placed in quarantine when they returned from Iraq, and a 12-year-old girl in Al-Qatif. It is believed she contracted the virus from her grandfather, who recently returned from a trip to Iran.

The remaining 21 cases involve Egyptians who had contact with a visitor from their home country who previously tested positive for the coronavirus.

Of the 45 people infected by the virus, one has recovered and the rest are in isolation and receiving health care according to accepted and approved practices.

Earlier in the day, the ministry announced the patient who has been given the all clear was the Saudi national who on Mar. 2 was the first to test positive for Covid 19.

Included in the new travel ban are member-countries of the European Union that had earlier been left out in last Monday's travel ban list, as well as Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia.

A statement by the Saudi Ministry of Interior said Saudi citizens and nationals of the countries covered by the ban who have valid residency in the Kingdom are given 72-hour period to return to Saudi Arabia before the travel suspension decision becomes effective.

Transportation through all land ports with Jordan is also suspended, except for the passage of passengers considered as "humanitarian cases" and except for commercial and cargo traffic.

Excluded in the travel ban are health workers in the Kingdom from Philippines and India, and evacuation, shipping and trade trips taking necessary precautions.

On Monday, the Kingdom suspended travel for citizens and residents to the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Oman, Italy, South Korea, France, Germany, Turkey and Spain.

Since early February, Saudi Arabia suspended travel to and from China, where the COVID-19 started.

The Saudi Health Ministry repeated its call for anyone who recently visited a country in which the coronavirus has spread to immediately contact its service center by calling the toll-free number, 937.

In addition, it urged members of the public who are concerned about the virus, or want more information about it and precautions that can be taken, to contact the ministry. It stressed that only official sources can be relied on to provide accurate information.

COUNTRIES IN SAUDI ARABIA'S TEMPORARILY TRAVEL SUSPENSION LIST

MENA Region

  1. Bahrain
  2. Egypt
  3. Iraq
  4. Kuwait
  5. Lebanon
  6. Oman
  7. Syria
  8. Turkey
  9. UAE

ASIA

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Pakistan
  4. Philippines
  5. South Korea
  6. Sri Lanka

AFRICA

  1. Djibouti
  2. Eritrea
  3. Ethiopia
  4. Kenya
  5. Somalia
  6. South Sudan
  7. Sudan

EUROPE

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Croatia
  5. Cyprus
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Denmark
  8. Estonia
  9. Finland
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Greece
  13. Hungary
  14. Ireland
  15. Italy
  16. Latvia
  17. Lithuania
  18. Luxembourg
  19. Malta
  20. Netherlands
  21. Poland
  22. Portugal
  23. Romania
  24. Slovakia
  25. Slovenia
  26. Spain
  27. Sweden
  28. Switzerland (non-EU member)

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