Published: Wed, March 25, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Saudi reports first coronavirus death, UAE gears up for lockdown

Saudi reports first coronavirus death, UAE gears up for lockdown

It will continue for 21 days from March 23 from 7 pm to 6 am every day.

The move comes as the country's Health Ministry announced 51 new patients on Monday, bringing the total number of known cases in the country to 562.

Saudi Arabia on Friday made a decision to suspend all domestic flights, buses, taxis and trains for a period 14 days to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading further in the country.

The interior ministry has warned that transgressors will be fined 10,000 Saudi riyals (US$2,663) and could face jail for repeated breaches.

For his part, Abdul Rahman Al-Hussein, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, said that the monitoring teams from the ministry carried out more than 3,000 inspection rounds during the curfew.

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The order issued by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud noted exemptions for individuals working in the security, military, and media sector, as well as employees in healthcare and service sectors.

The Arab world's biggest economy has closed down cinemas, malls and restaurants, halted flights and suspended the year-round umrah pilgrimage as it steps up efforts to contain the deadly virus.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman will chair an emergency virtual summit of leaders from the Group of 20 major economies on Thursday to discuss a global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia also suspended the prayers in the outer squares of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina starting Friday.

More than 1,300 coronavirus infections have been detected in the Gulf region, with most cases initially identified among travellers returning from Iran which is one of the world's worst affected countries.

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