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Coronavirus: Saudi bars entry to, exit from Riyadh, Makkah, Medina

Reuters/Riyadh
Filed on March 25, 2020 | Last updated on March 25, 2020 at 03.40 pm
Saudi Arabia, Makkah, Medina, coronavirus, covid-19
A general view shows an empty street in Riyagh.

(Reuters)

The orders also brought forward the start of curfew in the three cities to 3pm from 7pm from Thursday.

Saudi Arabia tightened a nationwide curfew to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, barring entry to and exit from the capital Riyadh and the holy cities of Makkah and Medina as well as movement between all provinces from Wednesday.

The orders also brought forward the start of curfew in the three cities to 3pm from 7pm from Thursday.

Saudi Arabia introduced the 21-day curfew on Monday after registering a jump in infections. It reported its first death on Wednesday, in Medina, and 205 new cases taking its total to 767.

Across the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council the tally rose to over 2,250 with six deaths, as Oman registered 15 new infections and Kuwait four.

Saudi Arabia has taken rigorous steps to contain the outbreak, also including halting international flights, suspending the Umrah year-round pilgrimage and closing mosques, schools, malls and restaurants.

The curfew and other restrictions have altered the rhythm of daily life in the country of some 30 million, many of whom enjoy late-night gatherings at coffee shops or private homes.


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