Saudi Arabia bans citizens from traveling to 16 countries as COVID and monkeypox cases rise

Amid the recent rise in coronavirus cases in some parts of the world, the Saudi administration has issued a travel advisory, banning its citizens from visiting up to 16 countries, including India. According to the notice, Saudi citizens are prohibited from traveling to India, Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus , Somalia, Libya, Indonesia, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, ANI reported citing the Gulf News.

Furthermore, the Saudi Ministry of Health claimed that no cases of monkeypox virus have been detected in the country so far. According to Abdullah Asiri, Deputy Minister of Health for Prevention, the Kingdom is well equipped to monitor and detect any potential cases of monkeypox, as well as to combat the virus in the event of an outbreak. “So far, cases of human-to-human transmission are very limited, and therefore the possibility of outbreaks resulting, even in countries that have detected cases, is very low,” he added.

WHO confirms 80 cases of monkeypox

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed 80 cases of monkeypox in as many as 11 countries and is seeking to better understand the extent and cause of the outbreak. Earlier on May 20, the WHO said in a statement that the virus is prevalent in some animals in several countries, causing outbreaks among local people and visitors. Notably, Monkeypox is usually a mild, self-limiting infection that only lasts a few weeks for most people. However, it can also affect people with serious illnesses. Primarily, the monkeypox virus is transmitted when a person comes into contact with the pathogen from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus.

India’s Health Ministry is closely monitoring rising monkeypox cases in Europe

It is pertinent to mention here that cases of monkeypox have increased in several countries, including the United States, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Israel, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. Meanwhile, India’s Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had asked health officials to keep a close eye on rising monkeypox cases in Europe. The Union Minister has ordered the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to be on high alert.

Image: Shutterstock/AP/Rep

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