Half of Saudi Arabia's recent coronavirus cases are among young people who have not been following health guidelines, the country's health ministry confirmed in a study on Wednesday.

“Epidemiological investigation teams tracking the spread have noticed that half of the confirmed cases recorded as of late are of people not adhering to proper protocols such as wearing masks and following social distancing measures in public places; most of them are of the youth demographic,” ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Abd al-Aly told reporters Wednesday.

The same indication has been noted elsewhere as the virus expanded its reach across the globe, though age-related data has varied.

According to a report in the daily Arab News spotlighted by The Washington Post, the infection rate has dropped since the kingdom was reporting highs of more than 4,000 new cases a day.

On Tuesday, 898 new infections were announced.

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Saudi Arabia has the highest number of cases in the Arab world.

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are now a total of 316,670 COVID-19 cases there with the death toll tallying almost 4,000 people.

May 21, 2012: Mawada Chaballout, a 27-year-old American member of a Saudi female soccer team practices at a secret location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s official press agency says the Education Ministry has allowed private female schools to hold sports activities within the Islamic Sharia laws. SPA said Saturday, May 4, 2013 that the ministry issued directives ordering private female schools to provide appropriate places and equipment for such activities, adhere to wearing decent dress and that Saudi women teachers should be given priority in supervising these activities.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

May 21, 2012: Mawada Chaballout, a 27-year-old American member of a Saudi female soccer team practices at a secret location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s official press agency says the Education Ministry has allowed private female schools to hold sports activities within the Islamic Sharia laws. SPA said Saturday, May 4, 2013 that the ministry issued directives ordering private female schools to provide appropriate places and equipment for such activities, adhere to wearing decent dress and that Saudi women teachers should be given priority in supervising these activities.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (The Associated Press)

Just weeks before American children were set to return to schools in September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the infection rate in kids 17 and under has been markedly and "steadily" increasing.

A South Korean study conducted in July found that individuals between the ages of 10 and 19 spread the virus more frequently than adults. However, it was not clear as to who was infecting whom.

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In the United States, many summer camps and other large gatherings of children have become super-spreading viral clusters.

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In Saudi Arabia, students will start the school year with distance-based learning, although many Saudi government and public sector employees are returning to their offices.

In a Tuesday cabinet meeting, officials discussed giving citizens and residents better health care access to prevent the spread of the virus.

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