JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior implemented a 24-hour curfew in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah on Thursday to limit the spread of Coronavirus. A 24-hour curfew has also been enforced in Riyadh, Tabouk, Dammam, Dhahran, Al Hofuf, as well as in Jeddah, Taif, Al Qatif and Al Khobar, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), quoting a source at the Ministry of Interior.
authorities extended the round-the-clock curfew as the kingdom reported four
new COVID-19 deaths on Monday, bringing the death toll to 38, while the total
number of confirmed infections has reached 2,523.
Under the curfew, which will be enforced until further notice, residents will be allowed to leave their houses for medical care and to obtain food supplies in their respective neighbourhoods from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m.
A maximum of two people will be allowed to travel in one car at a time – the driver and the person going out to buy food or obtain medical care.
The ministries of health and interior will work with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to set up procedures for the use of banking services and ATMs.
Groups which were previously excluded from the curfew, such as workers in the health industry, will still be allowed to leave for work. All commercial activities in the two cities – apart from pharmacies, supermarkets, banks and petrol stations – will be stopped.
Authorities called on residents to protect children and only allow adults to leave the house, and advised them to use delivery services for groceries and food as much as possible. Saudi Arabia expects Covid-19 cases to increase by a range of between 10,000 to 200,000 maximum, and has allocated an additional SR7 billion ($1.86 billion) to its healthcare budget.