Characteristics of First Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and the Effort to Prevent the Early Spread of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia
Received 3 September 2020
Accepted for publication 10 December 2020
Published 26 January 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 315—321
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto
Zuhair S Natto,1 Heba K Alshaeri2
1Department of Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fakeeh College for Medical Sciences, Jeddah 21499, Saudi Arabia
Correspondence: Zuhair S Natto
Department of Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. BOX 40311, Jeddah 21499, Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 50 36 200 37
Purpose: To characterize the overall trends in early cases of COVID-19 and to identify the key points of the government effort to minimize the infection.
Patients and Methods: A retrospective review and data were retrieved through online sources and the Saudi Ministry of Health daily announcements that were available online. The data included the number of infections per day, and the gender, nationality, location, source of infection, incidence, rate of recovery, and the rate mortality of COVID-19 patients in Saudi Arabia between March 1 and March 16, 2020.
Results: The incidence of COVID-19 increased in the first two weeks in Saudi Arabia, from zero cases on March 1 to more than 15 cases per day on March 16, with a total of 133 cases. The majority of patients were males (54.9%), of Saudi descent (54.9%), and had travel as their source of infection (57.1%). Most of the cases were in Makah (37.6%); however, there were increases in cases in all cities. Moreover, the Saudi government enacted several steps to minimize the spreading of infection. There was no statistical significance between source of infection with gender (p = 0.323). However, there was statistical significance between source of infection and nationality (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The incidence of COVID-19 cases is expected to continue to increase. However, the efforts of the Saudi government are crucial in minimizing the spread of this infection.
Keywords: Saudi Arabia, COVID-19, prevention, SARS-CoV-2
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