Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 6 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: Saudi authorities say summer heat not a solution

Another 50 people died in the kingdom, with confirmed infections edging towards 200,000

Fifty more people died from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours in Saudi Arabia, authorities said on Tuesday, and the health ministry cautioned against expecting the scorching summer heat to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Health ministry spokesman Mohammed Al Abdulaali said rising temperatures would have little effect on transmission because of the widespread use of air conditioning.

“Most of us will be in controlled environments different to the high temperatures that could affect the activity or survival of the virus,” said Mr Al Abdulaali, who is a physician.

He said transmission would continue to depend on whether people “cover their mouth and nose, perform handshakes or mix directly with each other”.

“Continuous caution is required regardless of the season,” he said.

Data released by the ministry also showed 4,387 more infections, 40 per cent of which were registered in the eastern urban centres of Al Hofouf, Al Mubarraz and Al Dammam.

So far, 1,649 people have died from the coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, which has reported 190,823 infections.

The caseload has risen sharply since the government reopened the economy at the start of June.

Officials have urged the population to adhere to social distancing guidelines, which they say are being largely ignored.

Updated: July 1, 2020 08:40 AM

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