The number of novel coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia could reach up to 200,000 within a few weeks, according to the health minister of Saudi Arabia.
Citing four Saudi and international studies, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said the case figure is likely to see a constant increase rather than a decrease.
“Within the next few weeks, studies predict the number of coronavirus cases will range from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000,” he said. The virus has already infected more than 1.3 million people worldwide.
The minister added it was vital the public cooperated with the government’s instructions and precautionary measures to limit the number of infections.
“There is no doubt that our commitment to the instructions and procedures, in its entirety reduces the number of cases to the minimum, while non-compliance will lead to a huge increase in the number of cases,” he said.
“We stand today at a decisive moment as a society in raising our sense of responsibility and contributing together with determination to stop the spread of this pandemic,” Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah said in a rare televised address.
Many people were not taking the dangers of the pandemic seriously enough, according to the health minister, adding that the Kingdom had death with the crisis with full “transparency and clarity.”
The Saudi health ministry also announced that there were a total of 2,795 confirmed cases and the death toll from the virus in the Kingdom had reached 41.
A 24-hour curfew and lockdown has been imposed in the cities of Riyadh, Dhahran, Tabuk, Dammam and Al-Hofuf and in the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar in a bid to prevent the spread of disease.