In Hofuf on Monday, the guards posted outside the intensive-care unit at the private Al Moosa General Hospital were among the few signs of a medical crisis.
Malek al Moosa, the hospital's executive director, confirmed that many of the coronavirus patients were treated here. Mr. Moosa denied that his hospital was the center of the outbreak, however, and denied that it was the only hospital treating patients stricken with the virus.
"We have maybe paid the price of being transparent," by testing patients for the virus and reporting the results to medical authorities, Mr. Moosa said.
The excerpt below, talks of a cluster of family relatives that have gone to three different hospitals. Below is a map of hospitals in the Hofuf area.
The kingdom's Ministry of Health disclosed the latest two deaths, of a 62-year-old woman and 71-year-old man, late Sunday night, saying in a brief statement that all of the current new cases of the virus appear to be clustered at a single hospital in Hofuf, one of the main cities of Eastern province, the heart of the Saudi oil industry.
"People are sending messages, SMSs, saying, 'stay home.' That all the hospitals have the virus. All," said one man, a cousin to one of the men who died and to two other men who have been sickened in the current outbreak and are still being treated.
The man confirmed an account from a hospital official in Hofuf that his three relatives had gone to three different hospitals in Eastern Province.
"The Ministry of Health just wants to close the books" by saying the latest outbreak is limited to one hospital, the man said, speaking on a Hofuf street lined with medical centers and pharmacies.