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Health & Wealth

Middle East on high alert as countries ease virus lockdown

King Salman has ordered the partial lifting of the curfew across Saudi Arabia

Countries in the Middle East have been implementing plans for a gradual return to normal life after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world into strict lockdown measures.

Saudi Arabia joined the UAE and Jordan that have eased restrictions on people’s movement.

But these countries have remained on high alert to avoid a new wave of infections.

Middle Eastern Countries ease virus lockdown

A royal decree in Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday morning said the curfew is off from 9 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’clock in the afternoon, from April 26, 2020, to May 13, 2020.

Makkah and its neighbourhood shall remain under a 24-hour curfew, the decree said.

The new order was based on recommendations of relevant health authorities to enable the return of some economic activities and to relieve citizens and residents.

Law enforcers are also instructed to ensure that “social distancing” is observed at all times, and that social gatherings involving more than five people, such as wedding events and parties shall remain disallowed.

The decree reminded the public that the prescribed penalties will be imposed on violators and facilities that violate the regulations and instructions will be closed according to established procedures.

Since COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China late last year, Saudi Arabia has reported 16,299 COVID-19 cases, including 136 deaths. Some 2,214 patients were reported to have recovered so far.

Worldwide, the number of cases neared 2.8 million cases and the number of deaths passed the 200,000 marks, with the US accounting for over 53,000, or more than 25 per cent of the total.

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