Many US diplomats and citizens are reportedly leaving Saudi Arabia amid surge in the country’s coronavirus cases.
According to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday, a group of diplomats were supposed to leave on Saturday with others to follow.
“The diplomats will take a repatriation flight Saturday after the State Department last week approved the voluntary departure of nonemergency personnel, US officials familiar with the plan said. More diplomats are expected to follow in the coming weeks,” read the report.
The number of the cases in Saudi Arabia has reportedly surged over 200,000, up from 110,000 in May. More than 1,800 people are said to have succumbed to the virus.
The US State Department reportedly made the decision after House Intelligence Committee was “contacted by an individual concerned about the spread of coronavirus in Saudi Arabia,” and sent an email to the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the matter.
The pandemic “stretches Saudi Arabia’s healthcare system to its limits,” the WSJ reported. “Foreign residents, including Americans, have complained of being denied medical treatment or coronavirus testing.”