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Saudi Arabia Records 3rd Virus Death, 3 Cities Implement Curfew Starting 3 p.m.

Saudi Arabia Records 3rd Virus Death, 3 Cities Implement Curfew Starting 3 p.m.

Thursday, 26 March, 2020 - 18:30
An empty street in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Photo by Ahmed Fathi
Asharq Al-Awsat

The number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia reached 1,012 on Thursday after authorities announced 112 new infections, most of them in the capital Riyadh and Makkah.

The Ministry of Health also reported a third death from the virus, a resident in Medinah who suffered from chronic diseases.

An extended curfew was implemented on Thursday in Riyadh, Makkah, and Madinah, starting from 3 p.m.

On Monday, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued an order banning the movement of people across the Kingdom from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

In the United Arab Emirates, most of the public and private sectors were directed to have the majority of staff work from home, and imposed overnight curfews as a temporary measure this weekend for a nationwide disinfection to combat the coronavirus.

The UAE confirmed 333 cases of the virus and two deaths.

Authorities announced restrictions on movement of traffic and people overnight from Thursday until Sunday for the disinfection drive. The restrictions will last from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Only essential service workers would be allowed out and violators will face fines, a security forces spokesman said in a press conference on Thursday.

Public transport including trams and metro services will be suspended, while private cars, cabs and delivery vehicles can operate outside those hours.

The UAE government ordered all federal ministries and establishments and the private sector to limit the number of staff in offices to 30 percent.

It exempted sectors providing essential services including health, finance, energy, telecoms, security, military, cargo and food.

Kuwait on Thursday banned all taxis, directed the state supply company to cover any basic food shortages and said it would disburse a month's salary to all Kuwaiti students abroad.

Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar also saw more cases, taking the total in the six Gulf states to over 2,600, with nine deaths.

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