The Saudi royal family has up to 150 members infected with the corona virus, a figure close to the family revealed to the New York Times.
Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulziz al Saud, governor of Riyadh and the nephew of King Salman, was confirmed to test positive for corona virus, two doctors told the New York Times.
Many of the thousands of members of the royal family are thought to have brought the virus home after traveling in Europe.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and many of his country’s ministers are secluded on the Red Sea coast, while King Salman is also isolated near the city of Jeddah.
To date, Saudi Arabia has recorded 2,932 cases and 41 deaths from Covid-19. The country estimates that up to 200,000 people are infected with the virus within weeks, the health minister said on April 7.
“In the next few weeks, studies predict the number of cases will range from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000,” said Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah and said the forecast was based on four studies from Saudi Arabia and other international experts, according to state media.
Rabiah warned the kingdom to face a “critical moment” in the war against Covid-19. Several Saudi cities, including Riyadh, have imposed a curfew order after 24 hours.
Saudi Arabia is said to have limitations on its ability to perform the Covid-19 test in the context of an increasing number of infections.
This makes the disease situation in reality not clearly reflected. The government of the country confirmed the first case was a return from Iran, epidemic in the Middle East
One of Saudi Arabia’s first reactions was to blockade the eastern areas that were mostly Shia Muslims. The community is highly likely to visit Shia religious sites in Iran, according to the Times.
However, foreigners in Saudi Arabia are the most likely to be infected, including migrant workers from Southeast Asia and poorer countries in the Middle East. This group accounts for 1/3 of Saudi Arabia’s population and many live in crowded areas and commute by public transport.