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Saudi Arabia sees huge spike in coronavirus cases as fears mount of second wave

Social distancing measures are in place, as shops reopen [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 June, 2020

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Saudi Arabia has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases, as fears mount of a second wave of the epidemic.

Saudi Arabia noted a worrying Covid-19 spike on Wednesday with 2,171 new cases recorded and fears of a second wave of infections hitting the kingdom.

The ministry of health had reported a eight-day decline in Covid-19 numbers - all under 2,000 cases - until Wednesday's announcement.

Riyadh saw the most new cases with 683, while there were 418 in Jeddah and 279 in Mecca, according to local media Saudi Gazette.

Saudi Arabia has recently lifted restrictions put in place at the start of the epidemic, which has included curtailments to travel and curfews.

Mosques were opened in the kingdom this week with social distancing measures in place.

Eastern Province, which was hit hardest of the start of the epidemic, will see 205 mosques open later this week.

Riyadh municipality announced on Wednesday that 8,787 commercial businesses would be prohibited from opening until at least 20 June, which includes barbers, beauty salons, and cinemas.

Saudi Arabia has also restarted domestic flights, after restrictions on travel between different areas of the kingdom.

Gulf states have started re-opening after weeks of tough lockdown measures, which have had a devastating impact on local economies.

Dubai malls are now at full capacity while other restrictions have been eased in a bid to spur domestic economic growth.

Up to 70 percent of businesses in the emirate predicted to go bust within the next six months, while thousands of more people could be laid off in the UAE following the coronavirus outbreak.

Saudi Arabia, too, has felt the pinch with billion dollar cuts expected, including to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 projects.

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