Mekkah, MINA – Saudi Arabia implemented regional quarantine or lockdown in the two holy cities of Makkah and Medina on Thursday. The decision was made to tighten efforts to deal with the coronavirus in the Kingdom’s territory.
Through the decision, a curfew will be imposed for 24 hours in the two cities. Previously, the curfew was only valid from 15:00 to 06:00.
Through a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that in this policy there were some exceptions. Among them are workers in important sectors now and residents who buy food and access health services.
“Cars in the two cities are only allowed to carry one person,” the ministry added. This is so that coronavirus transmission can be prevented.
Previously, Saudi Arabia had taken drastic steps in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in its territory, namely by stopping international flights, closing public places, and suspending Umrah activities which usually took place throughout the year.
On Tuesday, the government of Saudi Arabia also called on Muslims to postpone the pilgrimage plan until there is clarity about the end of the pandemic.
Restrictions on movements in Riyadh and Jeddah were also tightened, with long curfew regulations imposed.
Meanwhile, Qatif Province, the location of Saudi Arabia’s first Corona case emerged last month, has been under regional quarantine policy for almost four weeks.
To date there have been more than 1,700 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus throughout Saudi Arabia with 16 cases leading to death. That number is the highest among the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
However, the country’s health affairs official said that their experience of fighting the MERS outbreak helped prepare Saudi Arabia to fight this new outbreak. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)