Saudis told to stay at home as Bahrain reports first coronavirus death - GulfToday

Saudis told to stay at home as Bahrain reports first coronavirus death

Doctors check a traveller in their designated residential area as part of the drive to spot signs of coronavirus on those returning from Iran, at Isa Town Health Centre, south of Manama, Bahrain. AFP

Bahrain reported the Arab Gulf's first death from the coronavirus on Monday and Saudi Arabia urged its citizens to stay at home as the region broadened measures to shield populations and economies from the outbreak.

Nearly 1,000 people have now tested positive for the virus in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and member states have restricted entry and movement.


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Saudi Arabia, which along with Kuwait suspended all international flights and closed most public spaces, said it was considering suspending work for the private sector after doing so for the government sector, except health and security.

"We hope citizens will stay at home and not go out unless needed," Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah told a news conference on Monday.

BahrainVirustest Expatriates returning from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon are re-tested at a Kuwaiti health ministry containment and screening zone for COVID-19 in Kuwait City. AFP

The kingdom ordered the private sector to give two-week mandatory sick leave for pregnant women and employees with conditions that leave them vulnerable, state media reported.

The 65-year-old Bahraini woman who died from the coronavirus had underlying health conditions, Bahrain's health ministry said on Twitter. Bahrain has reported 221 cases, including dozens among citizens evacuated from Iran last week.

Across the Gulf, patriotic Twitter hashtags and social media images circulated with the phrase "We are all at home for the sake of ..." using the relevant Gulf country and its national flag.

In the United Arab Emirates, the government issued a tweet reassuring people about supplies of goods after a rush on supermarkets.


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