With countries across the world engaging in a lockdown, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a curfew order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus from 7pm to 6am for 21 days.
The decision came after Saudi Arabia became the country with the most coronavirus cases in the GCC, at more than 1,700. King Salman’s order followed an announcement by the Health Ministry of 119 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, raising the total number in the Kingdom to 511.
The Ministry of Interior called on civil and military authorities to co-operate fully with the measures, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
There are exemptions from the curfew that the authorities have made, they include employees in the security, military and media, and those in relevant health and service sectors.
- Food sector (points of sale) such as catering and supermarkets, also including poultry and vegetable shops, meat, bakeries, food factories and laboratories;
- Health sector, such as pharmacies and the like, medical clinics (dispensaries), hospitals, laboratories, factories, factories and materials and medical devices;
- Media sector
- Transportation sector, such as those transporting goods, parcels, customs clearance, warehouses, warehouses, logistics services, supply chains for the health sector, the food sector, and port operations;
- E-commerce activities such as those working in the electronic procurement applications for the excluded activities and those working in the delivery applications of the excluded activities;
- Accommodation services activities such as hotels and furnished apartments;
- Energy sector such as gas stations and emergency services for the electric company;
- Financial services and insurance sector, such as direct accidents (Najm), urgent health insurance services (approvals), and other insurance services.
- Telecom sector as Internet and communication network operators.
- Water sector, such as the water company emergency services and home drinking water delivery service (graying).
The ministry urged citizens to stay in their homes, especially during the curfew, and not to leave except in cases of necessity.
Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Mohammed Abdelali said 72 of the new cases were Turkish nationals under quarantine in the holy city of Makkah.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have taken some of the most drastic steps including halting international flights and suspending work at most institutions and closing public venues.
Gulf governments have also announced stimulus packages to shield their energy-producing economies, which have been hit by a collapse in oil prices.