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Saudi King Slaps Away Woman Who Tried To Kiss His Hand

The King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has been filmed slapping away a woman who tried to kiss his hand. It was later claimed it was because of fears of coronavirus.

Footage of the King believed to have been taken on Sunday, shows him lining up to meet with people at the palace.

A number of men shake King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's hand before a woman takes her turn, but as she leans in to kiss his hand the King recoils.

The woman attempts to kiss the King's hand during a palace meet-and-greet. Image: PardesSeleh

He also appears to hit the woman on the head while shaking his head and reprimanding her.

The incident appears to unsettle the King and he ends the meeting-and-greet and turns to walk away.

The King appears to slap the woman's head away. Image: PardesSeleh

While it is not known why the King became so agitated at the woman's act, commentators have suggested it could be over coronavirus fears.

Saudi Arabia has not had any recorded cases of COVID-19, but nearby Iran has already reported 54 deaths from the disease.

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it had prepared 25 hospitals to handle any coronavirus cases that might be detected in the kingdom, part of precautionary measures which include closing its borders to foreign “umrah” pilgrims.

World

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Health ministry spokesman Mohammed Abdelali told a news conference that 2,200 hospital beds were dedicated for quarantine cases.

Saudi Arabia, which has Islam’s two holiest sites, on Thursday announced a ban on foreigners coming to the kingdom for the umrah pilgrimage, which can take place at any time of the year, and to tourists from at least 25 countries where the virus has been found.

With Reuters.