Saudi anti-coronavirus measures unprecedented – EU Envoy

The Saudi government has taken unprecedented measures in countering the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with their quick preemptive move, said the Ambassador of the European Union to Saudi Arabia Michele Cervone D’urso, while adding, it is in a good position that will enable it to manage this pandemic and “flatten the curve”.

In an interview with Okaz on Saturday, the EU ambassador said: “The Kingdom took early, firm preemptive measures in restricting travel and movement and implementing mandatory social distancing. Now there is a partial curfew and lockdown in several cities, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah. All are very well aware what they ought to do when the symptoms aggravate. In this regard, the public facilities had made preparations for any contingency quite early.”

He added: “These also include the important emergency measures to stimulate the economy and pave the way for recovery in the post-crisis stage, including the commitment to increase lending this year and the emergency measures for the private sector. All these will pose a special challenge when oil prices drop and the ensuing financial impacts set in.”

Speaking to Okaz in Riyadh, he said: “I was appointed about four years ago. During this period, I have seen directly the flexibility of the Saudi people and their generosity and sympathy.

“These are the qualities that have come to the surface during these difficult times. I support the great human efforts being exerted by the medical teams and those operating the basic services, especially since the coronavirus pandemic has brought humanity closer to one another.”