Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 2 July 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia records second death as it extends curfew to curb epidemic

Citizens are prohibited from leaving and entering Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday a second coronavirus patient has died as cases in the kingdom reached 900.

The fatality was a “resident” of the holy city of Mecca, Health Ministry Spokesman Mohammed Al Abdulaali said in a daily briefing.

Mr Abdulaali said 115 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the kingdom last 24 hours and are under treatment.

The new cases are included in the total of 900.

The kingdom extended a curfew and imposed further limits on domestic travel on Wednesday in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The start of the curfew was moved forward to 3pm from 7pm beginning Thursday in Riyadh and the holy cities of Makkah and Medina, state news agency SPA said in a statement.

Residents will no longer be allowed to move between different regions inside the kingdom, apart from groups previously excluded from the curfew, the statement said.

King Salman took this decision “based on the calls made by the relevant authorities to introduce more precautionary measures to limit the spread of corona virus," SPA reported.

The measures were announced after the kingdom confirmed its first death on Tuesday, a 51-year-old Afghan resident.

Saudi Arabia has the highest number of infected individuals in the Gulf.

The country has imposed tough restrictions, including an overnight curfew for the next three weeks, to try to slow the spread of the disease.

Other measures include shutting public venues, including places of worship - apart from the grand mosques of Makkah and Medina, where restrictions are in place.

All public transport has also been suspended.

Updated: March 25, 2020 05:19 PM

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