Since late January the novel coronavirus is creating havoc in this world. Starting from the Wuhan province in China, it has spread to more than 180 countries affecting more than 3,000,000 people. The total death toll is more than 207,000 globally. The affected countries have adopted several measures like lockdown and sealing of borders to prevent the virus from spreading. Saudi Arabia has also taken various steps against the spread of COVID-19.
The covid-19 outbreak in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is situated in Western Asia. It has a population of over 3.37 crores. The country had its first corona patient on March 2, 2020. However, it reacted swiftly and has taken several positive measures to minimize the impact of the virus.
Today (29 Apr 2020), Saudi has registered 21,402 COVID cases (85% of them non-Saudi) and death toll of 157. The figures stand in stark contrast to those of the western countries. Other countries are learning from Saudi experience and taking up similar steps to control the spread of the virus.
Let us see what are the measures that Saudi Arabia took that made it one of the safest places in this world.
How Saudi Arabia Reacted to the Coronavirus Threat
Initially, the country imposed travel restrictions on both its citizens and residents. The people were given 72 hours to return from Bahrain and the UAE. After that, all flights were canceled and this helped the country to implement lockdown that slowed the spread of the virus. Visas to people from countries with positive COVID cases have been canceled.
All types of traveling to Saudi Arabia is barred now. Even business visa holders also cannot travel to this country.
Another measure that helped Saudi Arabia to arrest the pandemic was halting of entry of pilgrims.
The country is known for its holy sites and thousands of people travel to it to visit these shrines. Ramadan witnesses a lot of foreigners coming to Saudi for pilgrimage. This influx is stopped now which is helping the officials to serve the citizens and foreigns better.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz orders to provide free health care to violators of residency, labor regulations, and border security who are infected or suspected of being infected with novel Coronavirus in governmental and private hospitals without any legal consequences.#SPAGOV pic.twitter.com/NNcKsCq0np— SPAENG (@Spa_Eng) March 30, 2020
Another step that is earning the Saudi kingdom a lot of applause from the entire world is providing free treatment to sick people. The treatment of COVID is not cheap and most patients don’t have the means to pay for the treatment. Providing free treatment will increase the rate of recovered people and keep death rates low. This will also keep the number of affected people low as many people will come out to take the test.The Saudi Kingdom is extending its helping hand to the expatriates. The expatriate community is quite large in the Kingdom and they are receiving free medical care for corona infection.The expatriates’ visas are also extended without any additional charge. There are a lot of tourists and foreigners holed up in the Kingdom. For them, the kingdom is providing free food and medical services.
This is an extremely good gesture and an effective step to combat the virus.Thus, foreigners are safe in Saudi. They are getting all kinds of assistance from the country. Tourism will not be affected negatively in the future when the lockdown is lifted or for any issue especially for tourism.
The people of Saudi Arabia have positively responded to the steps taken by their rulers. They are abiding by the lockdown rules and staying at home.
There is no rush at departmental stores (See the below YouTube) and people are maintaining social distancing. This is making life easier for people. For all these reasons, the pandemic is less severe in Saudi Arabia.We hope very soon the country will reach the peak of virus spread and come out of danger. Tourism and business traveling will start and enable people to visit our wonderful country.
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