Saudi Arabia Tightens Curfew to Contain Coronavirus Outbreak

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

The orders, approved by King Salman and published by state media, 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 authorities have said curfew-breakers would be fined 10,000 riyals ($2,665) and repeat offenders could be jailed for up to 20 days. Those circulating videos of violations or encouraging people to do so could face up to five years in jail and a 3 million riyal ($800,000) fine, the public prosecutor said.

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