Riyadh, Feb 3: Saudi Arabia has suspended entry to the kingdom from 20 countries, with the exception of diplomats, Saudi citizens, medical practitioners and their families, to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the state news agency reported.
The temporary ban, effective from 3 February, includes people arriving from India, Pakistan the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the US, Britain, South Africa, France, Egypt, Lebanon.
The announcement comes after the Saudi health minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah warned on Sunday that new coronavirus restrictions could be imposed if citizens and residents do not comply with health restrictions.
The country has reported more than 368,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 6,400 deaths, the highest among Gulf Arab states.
Daily infections dipped below 100 in early January, from a peak of nearly 5,000 last June. However, new daily infections have tripled since then, with 310 cases reported by the health ministry on Tuesday.