Saudi Arabia to fine up to $133,000 for hiding health details on entry

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia said on Monday it will impose a fine of up to 500,000 riyals ($133,000) on people who do not disclose their health-related information and travel details at entry points, as the Gulf state works to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The kingdom on Sunday imposed a temporary lockdown on its eastern oil-producing province of Qatif, where the majority of the 15 individuals diagnosed with the disease reside. Some have failed to disclose travelling to Iran to the authorities upon returning to Saudi Arabia via other Gulf Arab states.
Saudi Arabia suspended travel with nine countries including neighbouring Arab states on Monday and said legal action would be taken against any citizen travelling to Iran.
The kingdom said most of the individuals with coronavirus had returned from Iran or Iraq or interacted with people who visited the Islamic Republic.
“All the travellers coming to the kingdom by international flights, managers and workers of other transportation means have to respect local and international health directives,” said a statement from the kingdom’s public prosecutor.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia on Monday also asked imams to deliver Friday prayer sermons in less than 15 minutes. The Islamic Affairs Ministry banned food and beverages at mosques in addition to spiritual retreats.
King Salman has donated $10 million to support efforts by the World Health Organization to counter the coronavirus outbreak, state news agency SPA reported on Monday.
All Gulf Arab states have recorded infections. The UAE announced 14 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total number of people infected to 59.
Qatar too has suspended schools and universities from March 10 to prevent the spread of the disease.
Bahrain closed down a unit in a major hospital in Manama after a medical intern tested positive for the virus, state news agency BNA reported on Monday. — Reuters