RIYADH, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has implemented a regional quarantine or lockdown in the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina on Thursday (2/4/2020). The lockdown is conducted to tighten efforts to deal with the coronavirus outbreak in the kingdom's territory, where previously the curfew only applied from 15:00 to 06:00.
Through a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that in this policy there are a number of exceptions, including for workers in important sectors today and citizens who buy food and access health services.
"Cars in the two cities are only allowed to carry one person," the ministry added, so that the transmission of the corona virus could be prevented.
Previously, Saudi Arabia had taken drastic steps in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in its territory, namely by stopping international flights, closing public places, and suspending Umra activities which usually takes place throughout the year.
Earlier, on Tuesday (31/3), the Saudi Arabian government also called on Muslims to postpone their Hajj pilgrimage plans until there is clarity about the end of the pandemic.
Restrictions on movement in Riyadh and Jeddah were also tightened, with long curfew regulations imposed.
Meanwhile, the Qatif province, where Saudi Arabia's first coronavirus case emerged, has been under regional quarantine policy for almost four weeks.
To date, more than 1,700 corona positive cases have been confirmed throughout Saudi Arabia, with 16 cases leading to death, and that number is the highest among the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
However, the country's health affairs official said that their experience of fighting the MERS outbreak helped prepare Saudi Arabia to fight this new outbreak.