Coronavirus: Saudi cases pass 44,000 as Eid lockdown announced

Nine people died in the kingdom from the virus, bringing the total confirmed deaths to 273

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Saudi Arabia will introduce a total lockdown across the kingdom over Eid later this month in a major effort to prevent gatherings across the religious holiday casing a spike in coronavirus cases as the total number of infections passed 44,000 on Wednesday.

The Health Ministry reported 1,905 new cases, taking the total to 44,830. The country has recorded a daily average of around 1,000 new cases since mid-April.

But although there has been an increase in the number of cases, the country's death toll remained low, increasing by just 9 on Wednesday to a total of 273.

The ministry said that 2,365 people recovered during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 17,622.

Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry said late on Tuesday that it will implement the full lockdown with a curfew across the country from May 23 to May 27 to contain the coronavirus during the Eid holidays.

The country has adapted to new policies such as suspending the religious pilgrimage of Umrah and enforcing a full lockdown in the holy city of Makkah.

Authorities have not yet announced whether they will proceed with this year's Hajj pilgrimage after Eid.

Other GCC countries recorded new infections on Wednesday.

Qatar said it detected 1,390 new cases during the last 24 hours, the total number of infected individuals is now 26,539.

The country has the second-highest infected cases in the Gulf region after Saudi Arabia.

Kuwait reported 751 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 11,028.

Seven people died over the last 24 hours, taking the number of fatalities to 82, according to the health ministry.

During the last 24 hours, 162 more patients recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 3,263.

Kuwait has taken extreme measures to stop the spreading of the virus, the country is currently under a 20-day full lockdown.

Bahrain currently has 5,531 cases of the virus and has recorded 9 deaths.

Oman has the lowest number of infected cases in the region.

It recorded 298 new cases during the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 4,019.

Out of those infected, 89 are Omanis and 209 foreigners, the health ministry said.

Oman’s death toll stands at 17 and the total number of recoveries is 1,289.