Saudi Arabia's health ministry said on Monday that the country will finance treatment of anyone affected by the deadly coronavirus in the country. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia's agriculture ministry ramped up efforts to boost wheat and livestock supplies on fears of global food shortage in the days to come.

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Saudi Arabia outpacing other Arabian Gulf countries. However, the country has so far registered only eight deaths as the government steeps up measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus across the kingdom. That said, Saudi Arabia has so far registered the maximum number of coronavirus infections among the six Gulf Arab states.

King Salman promises fee coronavirus treatment

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Pixabay

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has ordered free treatment for all citizens of the kingdom in all private and government health facilities. The country's health minister made this announcement in a press conference in Riyadh and also mentioned that the free treatment for coronavirus will include those in violation of residency laws.

Saudi Arabia also urged its citizens to go for coronavirus tests if they feel that they have symptoms. King Salman had last addressed the country two weeks ago and chaired a virtual summit of G20 leaders in a bid to advance the global response of the coronavirus outbreak. Also, in order to check the spread of coronavirus, curfew was tightened in Saudi Arabia from Sunday, bringing it from 6pm to 3pm, while cities like Riyadh, Medina, Mecca and Jeddah have been completely sealed.

Saudi Arabia tightens governance

King Salman extends Indonesia tour: 45 trucks to transport Saudi King's luggage during Bali holiday
King Salman of Saudi Arabia rides in a golf cart driven by Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia March 2, 2017. Reuters

Saudi Arabia has also tightened scrutiny over the past few days to curb the rise of corruption in the name of coronavirus outbreak. Authorities in Bahrain warned food suppliers against price gauging and holding back stocks. The government also seized three big storage sites food and vegetables for as the owners were holding back supplies to drive up prices.

In a separate press conference, the agriculture ministry announced that Saudi Arabia plans to start importing around 1.2 million tons of wheat next month. This is a strategic move to maintain reserves of more than 1 million ton of wheat. Also, Saudi Arabia is in talks with other countries and has extended the list from where it can import more livestock as reserve.

Saudi Arabia has been taking unprecedented measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. The ministry on Monday said that it is restricting access to six districts in Mecca, much like it did in many parts in Media over the weekend in its efforts to fight the deadly coronavirus. Saudi Arabia, on Monday reported another 24 cases of coronavirus, taking the count to 1,453. So far eight have succumbed to coronavirus, while 22 are in intensive care unit.