Coronavirus: Saudi military reassures leadership that precautions have been taken

Prince Mohammed bin Salman relayed Eid Al Fitr congratulations to troops in video call with command

The Saudi military has reassured the country's leadership that the coronavirus has not affected its ability to provide security and safety to the people of the kingdom.

The Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Gen Fayyad Al Ruwaili, spoke by video call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the Defence Minister.

Excerpts of their conversation were released on social media overnight.

“I assure you, generous Sir, that amid the coronavirus pandemic the Saudi Armed Forces possess the highest degrees of military readiness,” told the Crown Prince.

Prince Mohammed's brother, deputy defence minister Prince Khaled bin Salman, sat in on the call with him.

Gen Al  Ruwaili said the military was applying all necessary precautions against the coronavirus "while preserving the high readiness required".

“We are always with you,” he told Prince Mohammed, thanking him for  “unlimited support” from the Saudi leadership.

Prince Mohammed called the commander to pass on his Eid Al Fitr congratulations to the military.

He said he could not be with the troops because of the coronavirus risk.

“God willing the bad circumstances will go away and good will be coming upon us," Prince Mohammed said.

"We are all one hand to serve our homeland."

The Saudi military intervened in the Yemen conflict in 2015 and has led the Arab Coalition backing the internationally recognised government.

Last September, major oil installations in the kingdom came under an airborne attack claimed by the Houthi militia.

The attack knocked out for a few weeks a significant proportion of the kingdom’s oil output, and prompted the US to send troops to help shore up Saudi Arabia's defences.

The Saudi Health Ministry on Monday said it recorded 1,751 more coronavirus infections and 11 more deaths, bringing the toll in the kingdom to 75,560 cases and 390 fatalities.

Kuwaiti authorities said nine more people had died of the coronavirus in 24 hours and 665 new cases were recorded, bringing the official total to 165 dead from 21,967 infections.

The Kuwaiti embassy in London reminded its citizens that anyone wanting to travel to the British capital would have to be quarantined there for two weeks.

Bahrain’s ambassador in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khaled Al Khalifa, thanked the UAE for helping to repatriate 400 Bahraini citizens.

Qatar announced 1,751 new cases and three more deaths.

The reported number of people infected in Qatar stands at 45,465 with 26 fatalities.

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