Coronavirus disease (Covid 19)- Photo courtesy of US Department of State
CAIRO - 12 March 2020: The Saudi Ministry of Health on Tuesday evening confirmed new 24 coronavirus (covid 19) cases, including 21 Egyptian nationals.
The 21 infected Egyptians were performing Umrah [small pilgrimage] and got infected with the virus after contacting another Egyptian traveler who was announced positive for the virus by the Saudi ministry two days ago.
The other two cases are Saudi people [a man and a woman] coming from Iraq, while the third one for a Saudi child who contracted the virus from her grandfather, the Saudi ministry added in the statement, noting that one case was treated and tested negative for the virus.
The new cases increased the number of infected people in the kingdom to 45 cases, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian embassy in Riyadh announced that the state-owned EgyptAir office in Riyadh increased the number of extraordinary flights to transport Egyptian citizens, who obtain visas to visit the Kingdom, for Umrah or residency, back home.
The two extra flights are scheduled for March 17 and 19, said the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Thursday. Previously, the Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar announced that the ministry will exceptionally operate the flights as of March 9 until March 24.
The Coronavirus (Covid 19) disease was announced a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on Tuesday evening after it infected 118,000 people in 114 countries and claimed lives of 4,291 so far.
“WHO is deeply concerned by the alarming levels of the coronavirus spread, severity & inaction, & expects to see the number of cases, deaths & affected countries climb even higher. Therefore, we made the assessment that COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced in a press conference.