On Monday, Saudi Arabia cut air and sea shipments in nine countries, trying to slow down the transmission of coronavirus, since the Kingdom was faced with a simultaneous blow to the economy due to the sharp fall in oil prices.
Effectively isolated from its neighbors, Saudi Arabia has closed air and Maritime transport in the Arab States Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in Italy and South Korea. The Kingdom has already closed its land border, and trips to neighboring Qatar and it was banned from 2017 because of a political dispute.
Internally, Saudi Arabia on Sunday cordoned off the towns and villages of the Shiite majority in the district of the governorate of Qatif, where we identified all 11 cases of coronavirus. Compared to the Sunni majority population, the Shia, the Saudis are much more likely to go to Shia-led Iran, which became the main center of transmission of coronavirus.
Shiite Saudis have long complained about discrimination against them by the Sunni Muslim rulers of the Kingdom and their ultra-conservative clerical allies.
The Kingdom has also suspended pilgrimage to Holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia on Monday faced with a potentially devastating reduction in their income as a result of falling oil prices. The slowdown in the global economy due to pandemic for several weeks leads to a decrease in oil prices. Last week the negotiators of the Kingdom and OPEC failed to agree with Russia on the limitation of production.