RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman spoke publicly on Thursday for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus, pledging to continue measures to curb its spread and urging citizens to work together to confront the global pandemic.
“We are living through a difficult period in the history of the world, but we are fully aware that it will pass despite its cruelty, bitterness and difficulty,” the 84-year-old monarch said in a televised address to the nation.
In a five-minute speech, he urged people to act with solidarity and cooperation and to adhere to official directives.
Saudi Arabia recorded 36 new infections on Thursday, bringing its total to 274 with no deaths so far.
It has taken drastic measures to address the outbreak, including halting international flights, suspending the Umrah year-round pilgrimage to Mecca, closing mosques, schools, malls and restaurants, and asking people to stop going to work.