Saudi Arabia Suspends Travel of Citizens and Residents to China– SPA

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Saudi Arabia has suspended travel to China for both citizens and non-Saudi residents of the kingdom, State News Agency (SPA) said on Thursday.

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Citizens, who break the suspension would be held accountable, SPA sai, while foreign residents would not be allowed back into the country if they traveled to China.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities said the death toll from the coronavirus reached 563 across the country with 28,018 people confirmed infected.

China’s National Health Commission said 73 people had died over a 24-hour interval.

The virus has spread to about two dozen countries since first being identified in December, prompting the World Health Organisation to declare a global emergency.

Countries around the world have been flying their citizens out of the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the disease.

The coronavirus broke out at a seafood market in Wuhan that reportedly sold exotic animals for consumption, similar to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

SARS – a disease that infected 8,000 people and killed 800 globally between 2002 and 2003, and also began in China – was linked to the consumption of civet cats, another exotic meat.

The coronavirus belongs to the same family of viruses.

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