Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia imposes 24-hour curfew in several cities, including Riyadh

A picture taken on March 23, 2020, shows the empty King Fahd road in the Saudi capital Riyadh after authorities imposed a curfew. (File photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia is imposing a 24-hour curfew and lockdown on the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran and Hofuf and throughout the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar as of Monday night, the Saudi Press Agency reports citing a source from the interior ministry.

“This action comes within the framework of the efforts undertaken by the Kingdom to confront the coronavirus pandemic and in implementation of the recommendations of the competent health authorities to raise the degree of precautionary and preventive measures in order to preserve the health and safety of citizens and residents,” the interior source was quoted as saying by the Saudi Press Agency.

The decision will not be imposed on persons and groups working in the vital industries within the public and private sectors, the interior source added.

Saudi policemen manning a checkpoint on King Fahd road in the capital Riyadh, after the Kingdom began implementing an 11-hour nationwide curfew. (AFP)

Saudi policemen manning a checkpoint on King Fahd road in the capital Riyadh, after the Kingdom began implementing an 11-hour nationwide curfew. (AFP)

Citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to leave their homes only for essential needs like food and health care within the neighborhood area they are a resident of from 6 am to 3 pm daily during the 24-hour curfew.

Only two passengers, including the driver, will be allowed inside vehicles when heading out for essential needs during the full lockdown, Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said. The journey’s can only be within the neighborhood areas where the residents are registered at, authorities added.

Commercial activities within the residential districts of the cities and governates on lockdown will be suspended except for vital sectors including pharmacies, food supply stores, gas stations, banking services, maintenance and operation, technicians of plumbing, electricity and air conditioning, water delivery services and sanitation tanks, according to the Kingdom’s interior ministry.

The Ministry of Interior called on all citizens and residents to use express delivery services through smart device applications, to request food and medicine needs and other excluded goods and services delivered to their homes,” the statement regarding the lockdown added.

Read more: Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia: The latest facts about what is closed and banned

Earlier on Monday, Saudi Arabia confirmed four new coronavirus deaths, bringing the total number of virus-related deaths in the Kingdom to 38, according to data on the Ministry of Health.

Saudi Arabia has taken several measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus since the outbreak of the disease first began earlier this year.

Part of the measures taken by the Kingdom includes suspending the seasonal minor Umrah pilgrimage for national and foreign worshippers to introducing a lockdown of the country and establishing a curfew to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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