Saudi king to pay expats’ covid-19 hospital costs

Saudi king to pay expats’ covid-19 hospital costs

Saudi king to pay expats’ covid-19 hospital costs

Expats living and working in Saudi Arabia who’ve caught the coronavirus will have all costs involved paid by the kingdom’s monarch.

The popular expat professional destination is fighting hard to control the pandemic’s outbreak within its borders, with its Health Minister urging all those who believe they may be infected to get tested as soon as possible. Everyone, including expats and individuals in violation of the kingdom’s residency rulings, will be covered as regards medical expenses should the test confirm they have the virus.

It’s believed that many non-citizens who suspect they would test positive may not have the funds to cover even basic hospitalisation costs, with the announcement a strong move as regards curbing the rate of infection. A Reuters report confirmed the announcement, saying the Saudi monarch will cover all treatment costs, as everyone is in the same boat as regards the risks caused by the pandemic.

According to public health officers, Saudi Arabia’s former experience in combating the MERS outbreak has prepared it to tackle this new outbreak. Other measures by the government include the rapid cancellation of all international flights, the bringing in of a partial curfew and the closing of the majority of public places. Also, restrictions on movement have included six Mecca districts, Medina, Jeddah and Riyadh, and hundreds of expatriates living and working in Kuwait have been repatriated to the UK, France and Iran.

Meanwhile in the UAE, infections now number 611 with the five fatalities to date linked to pre-existing heart conditions. Schools and universities are now closed, with distance learning extended until this academic year's end. In Dubai, the civil and criminal justice firm Detained in Dubai is urging the government to allow release and repatriation for expats being detained in the states’ overcrowded prisons. The majority of expats currently in prison in the Gulf States as a whole were convicted of financial crimes not considered illegal in their home countries.

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