Coronavirus: Yemen closes embassy in Saudi Arabia after cases among staff

While the mission did not disclose how many staff members had Covid-19, it said the Riyadh office would be shut indefinitely

People wear protective face masks against the novel coronavirus at an open-air market in Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa. AFP
People wear protective face masks against the novel coronavirus at an open-air market in Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa. AFP

The Yemeni Embassy in the Saudi capital of Riyadh is shuttering indefinitely due to a number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus among staff.

The embassy made the announcement on Twitter late on Saturday, but did not specify how many people had contracted the coronavirus.

Similarly, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh also announced that starting Sunday its office for labour affairs will close after a number of employees were tested for the coronavirus and six people were confirmed positive for the disease. The office is being sterilised and employees were working remotely, according to the embassy.

Despite taking early and unprecedented measures to curb the spread of the virus, Saudi Arabia’s numbers continue to climb by more than 3,000 cases daily. On Sunday, the kingdom announced 40 more deaths from the novel coronavirus and 4,233 new cases.

Over 40 per cent of the new cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh, where 1,735 new cases were announced. Jeddah recorded 352 new cases, Makkah recorded 314, Dammam 161 and Madinah 158.

The health ministry added that 2,172 more people have recovered from the virus, taking the total number of recoveries to 84,720, with 972 total deaths.

The National reported last week that Yemen has suffered widespread deaths among its educated elite, despite reporting a low number of confirmed cases at 705 and 160 deaths.

A lack of widespread testing is masking the true scale of the crisis, but evidence shows that scores of doctors, academics, engineers, politicians, judges, lawyers and business leaders, as well as high-ranking members of the Houthi militia, are thought to be among the dead as the virus spreads.

At least 57 doctors and pharmacists are among those who have succumbed to Covid-19.

On Sunday, Qatar announced 1,186 new confirmed cases, including three deaths and 1,686 recoveries.

In Bahrain, 514 people tested positive, 281 of them expatriate workers, bringing the total to 18,227. Two people died and 628 recovered.

Kuwait on Sunday reported 454 new cases of Covid-19, along with 877 recoveries and seven deaths.

Oman recorded 1,404 new cases of the novel coronavirus, an upward trend that brings the country's overall total.

The newly diagnosed cases include 400 Omanis and 1,004 foreign residents, and five more deaths making the total 104.

Oman's overall recoveries from the disease has increased by 924 cases to reach 8,454.

Updated: June 14, 2020 06:26 PM

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