Saudi Arabia yesterday reported its first death from the coronavirus, a 51-year-old Afghan resident, while the UAE’s main airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi said they would suspend all passenger flights from midnight.
Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Mohammed Abdelali told a news conference the fatality occurred on Monday night in Medina, where the man’s health had deteriorated quickly after he reported to the emergency room.
The kingdom recorded 205 new infections yesterday, bringing the total in the six GCC states to more than 2,100, mostly in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Kuwait, which has also imposed a curfew, arrested and will deport nine expatriates for violating the curfew, state news agency KUNA said. The health ministry said all citizens and residents arriving from abroad must enter 14-day quarantine.
The UAE has 248 infections. It has suspended prayers in mosques for four weeks starting yesterday and plans to close malls, commercial centres, restaurants and cafes as well as open retail food markets for two weeks from today.