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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 362-365

Saudi Arabia stands as one of the leading countries for COVID-19 containment

1 Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pharmacy Service, King Abdul-Aziz Medical City, Ministry of National Guard, Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Emergency, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdul-Aziz Hospital, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Date of Submission26-May-2020
Date of Decision07-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance12-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication31-Jul-2020

Correspondence Address:
Fadilah Sfouq Aleanizy
Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, 22452, Riyadh 11495
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JNSM.JNSM_51_20

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Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged in China at the end of the year 2019 and a few weeks later it has out broken globally. There are obvious geographical variations in the mortality rates of COVID-19 according to the data published by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This paper aims to estimate where Saudi Arabia stands in comparison to other countries in regard to aspects such as recovery and death percentage among the top 15 countries which have reported the highest number of cases globally. Methods: The percentage of death and recovery from COVID-19 in 15 countries until May 24, 2020, was calculated using data released from the world meter. Results: The highest number of cases was reported in the United States and the lowest cases were in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia demonstrated the lowest number of the death rate which was 0.54%, on the other hand, France ranked first in the mortality rate which was 15.54%. Conclusion: All of the guidelines, precautionary approaches, and instructions included in the orders in addition to the application of the restrictive measures, as well as and high capacity of Saudi hospitals, collectively helped Saudi Arabia to be the leader in achieving the lowest death rate.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019, death rate, recovery rate, Saudi Arabia

How to cite this article:
Aleanizy FS, Alqahtani FY, Alanazi J, AlQahtani H, Alanazi M. Saudi Arabia stands as one of the leading countries for COVID-19 containment. J Nat Sci Med 2020;3:362-5

How to cite this URL:
Aleanizy FS, Alqahtani FY, Alanazi J, AlQahtani H, Alanazi M. Saudi Arabia stands as one of the leading countries for COVID-19 containment. J Nat Sci Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Aug 11];3:362-5. Available from: https://www.jnsmonline.org/text.asp?2020/3/4/362/294056

  Introduction Top

By the end of 2019, pneumonia cases of anonymous origin were officially reported in China Wuhan, named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).[1] The disease has rapidly spread to several districts within China then to the entire globe. The distribution of Covid-19 cases can be retrieved from the world meter (https://www.worldometers.info/) database that referred to sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs), were all ministries of health around the world reported their confirmed cases.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]

Combining all sources of Covid-19 cases worldwide a furthermost accurate estimate can be derived to date on the percentage of recovery and death for COVID-19, for all countries.[7] These findings can be valid for country and cities that provide updates of COVID-19 status and not necessarily for other outdated regions (suburban or rural areas, other countries, etc.,), but they represent the best estimates up-to-date given the co-occurrence of all sources.[8],[9] Since a large number of cases are asymptomatic and/or present with very mild symptoms, as well as the testing has not been performed on the total population,[9],[10],[11] only a fraction of the infected population is detected, confirmed by a laboratory test, reported through official channels as a COVID-19 case.[11],[12],[13] Therefore, only the data reported are estimated to be considered the actual number.

The Saudi Ministry of Health conducted and implemented constrained infection prevention control management strategies to contain COVID-19 infection. Moreover, COVID-19 infected patients have full priorities and complete resources of health care and treatment. In addition, Saudi Arabia has high capacity hospitals that can adopt bulky entities.

This work aims to estimate where Saudi Arabia aligns in comparison to other countries in regards to recovery and death percentage among the top 15 highest cases globally, by applying such control strategies.

Study design and data collection

A retrospective study, were all reported cases and their distribution by countries are looked-up and collected from the world meter (https://www.worldometers.info/) from December 2019 to May 2020.[2] Only the top 15 countries were included in this study. The recovery and death percentage were calculated using the number of total cases, the number of deaths, and the recovery cases per country examined as in [Table 1]. Ethical approval was obtained from our Institutional Review Board.
Table 1: Coronavirus disease 2019 cases distributions among the top highest 15 countries worldwide[2]

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  Results Top

According to the reported cases by world meter on May 24, 2020, 23:14 Greenwich Mean Time, there are a total of 5,481,517 COVID-19 cases worldwide. [Table 1] shows the ranks of the top 15 countries in a descending order. The United States settled as the highest number of cases and Saudi Arabia occupies as the lowest among the list of the top 15 countries. When calculating the percentage of death among the top 15 countries, Saudi Arabia, demonstrated the lowest death rate of 0.54% while France has the highest death percentage which was 15.54%.

When calculating the percentage of recovery, China showed the highest recovery of 94.32%. Germany ranks as the second-highest recovery rate of 88.89% after China however Germany counts for 4.64% of death cases. European countries within this study list as Spain, the UK, Italy, and France include the highest death rates of 10.17%, 14.18%, 14.26%, and 15.54%, respectively. Their recovery rates show a higher percentage with Spain 69.63% and Italy 61.12%. While yet France stands for lower recovery rate of 35.39% and the UK has not reported any recovered cases. Although Russia stands as the second top in a lower death rate of 1.03%, it also has a lower recovery rate of 32.89% within the top 15 countries included in this study. For Saudi Arabia being the lowest death rate of 0.54%, it stands in the middle for the recovery rate of 59.98% [Figure 1].
Figure 1: (a) Geographical distribution of coronavirus disease 2019 cases among the 15 countries. (a) Distribution of death cases (b) distribution of death cases (c) histogram variation of both recovery and death cases for each country

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  Discussion Top

As the WHO internationally declares COVID-19 as a pandemic, and advice for adapting certain protective measures to control the disease's outbreak, almost all countries adhere and pertain all these measures. However, the variation depends when and how they applied them. Starting by applying quarantine and closing all public activities, were telecommuting, virtual learning, and halting all airlines internationally are the leading measures.[6] However, China shows the highest recovery of 94.32%. Giving the fact that China have started 3 months before the disease publicized as pandemic and as on April 2020 China opened Wuhan, the city where the COVID-19 first emerged, to be back to normal life, the rest of the world infected countries were heading toward their beak of pandemic [Figure 1]. Hence, it is very logical that China has the highest recovery rate.[1]

In Saudi Arabia, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health operates a Command and Control Centre for COVID-19, and started applying careful monitoring of the current situation,[7],[8] particularly in the absence of any prophylactic vaccines or curative treatment globally.[6],[9] All protective safety measures started as early as the pandemic announced and health care rights were equal to all Saudi population (Saudis citizens and expatriates) in spite of a very low number of reported COVID-19 cases in the country. Daily updates through Saudi CDC and Wegaya, to ensure educating and updating health-care providers and public about the disease.[10] Unified management procedures and protocols for all health-care facilities.[11] Moreover, Saudi Ministry of Health operates a Command and Control Centre for COVID-19 operates active screening for all populations.[8],[9]

For Saudi Arabia, there is always a concern about possible increased numbers of human infections and deaths as Saudi Arabia the servant of holy places (Mecca and Medina) were more than 2 million pilgrims come together throughout the year-round during umrah and about 6 million pilgrims arrive during hajj.[11] Saudi Arabia has applied restricted measures to contain pandemic and furthermore since March 2020, suspended the year-round “umrah” pilgrimage to circumvent COVID-19 spreading and maintain the safety of all visitors to holy cities.

Admittedly, all these instructions and guidelines and restricted measures in Saudi Arabia have played a crucial role in achieving a lower mortality rate.


The strict infection prevention control management strategies applied by Saudi Authorities were very effective in containing the COVID-19 infection to the public specially the vulnerable population that lead to low death rate, continuation of applying such strategies should be considered.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Lu H, Stratton CW, Tang YW. Outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, China: The mystery and the miracle. J Med Virol 2020;92:401-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
Worldometer COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Cases Report; 2020. Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. [Last accessed 2017 May 03].  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organisation. COVID-19 Dashboard. World Health Organisation; 2020. Available from: https://covid19.who.int/region/emro/country/sa. [Last accessed 2017 May 03].  Back to cited text no. 3
COVID 19 Dashboard: Saudi Arabia. Available from: https://covid19.moh.gov.sa/. [Last accessed 2017 May 03].  Back to cited text no. 4
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2020. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. [Last accessed 2017 May 03].  Back to cited text no. 5
World Health Organization. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Summary of Current Situation, Literature Update and Risk Assessment. (WHO/MERS/RA/15.1). Available from: http://apps.who.int//iris/bitstream/10665/179184/2/WHO_MERS_RA_15.1_eng.pdf?ua=1. [Last accessed 2017 May 03]..  Back to cited text no. 6
Read JM, Bridgen JR, Cummings DA, Ho A, Jewell CP, et al. Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV: Early Estimation of Epidemiological Parameters and Epidemic Prediction; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 7
Piguillem F, Shi L. Optimal COVID-19 Quarantine and Testing Policies; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 8
Parmet WE, Sinha MS. Covid-19 – The law and limits of quarantine. N Engl J Med 2020;382:e28.  Back to cited text no. 9
Command and Control Center, Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia. Coronavirus Statistics. Available from: http://www.moh.gov.sa/en/CCC/PressReleases/Pages/Statistics-2016-02-23-001.aspx. [Last accessed on 2017 May 03].  Back to cited text no. 10
Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Available from: https://covid19.cdc.gov.sa/. [Last accessed 2017 May 03].  Back to cited text no. 11
Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 2020, Novel Corona Virus (2019-nCoV) Infection Guidelines. Available from: https://www.moh.gov.sa/en/CCC/healthp/regulations/Documents/Novel%20Corona%20Virus%20Infection%20Guidelines.pdf.  Back to cited text no. 12
Soliman T, Cook AR, Coker RJ. Pilgrims and MERS-CoV: What's the risk? Emerg Themes Epidemiol 2015;12:3.  Back to cited text no. 13


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]


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