Saudi Arabia relaxes daytime city curfew

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A motorist shows to a Saudi police officer a document allowing him to travel during curfew hours. (SPA)
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A motorist shows to a Saudi police officer a document allowing him to travel during curfew hours. (SPA)
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Updated 26 April 2020

Saudi Arabia relaxes daytime city curfew

JEDDAH: The curfew across Saudi Arabia was partially lifted early on Sunday, with the exception of the holy city of Makkah and adjacent neighborhoods previously isolated after a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The early morning announcement from the Ministry of the Interior announced a relaxation of the ban on movement within the city limits from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., from April 26, 2020, to May 13, 2020. However, the ban on movement between the country’s different regions remains even outside curfew hours.

“These steps come after a set of important reports examining the results of ministry’s efforts, including self-testing surveys and the monitoring of the pandemic outbreak, as well as the network of health services that were accessible for everyone, which helped to reduce the number of deaths,” said Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly.

Al-Aly referred to the most recent Google Mobility Report that indicated a high level of commitment among the population to stay home and a huge decline in the use of transport.

“There is still a pandemic around the world, and we are still recording new cases on a daily basis,” said Al-Aly.

He said that the ministry will continue to evaluate the situation, and that the public’s commitment to the strict precautionary measures will determine the results of the next period.

A total of 1,223 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Kingdom on Sunday, 85 percent of them were expats; 17,522 people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease so far.

Currently, there are 15,026 active cases, 115 of them critical. Most of the newly recorded cases — 76 percent — were not Saudi.

Al-Aly said there were 142 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 2,357, while three new deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 139.

The latest fatalities were one Saudi in Al-Hafouf and two expats in Madinah and Makkah. They were aged between 39 and 72.

The interior ministry affirmed that no social gatherings of more than five people were permitted, and it called on citizens and employers to take precautionary measures. People can report violations on Kollona Amn app.

“No entry or exit from the following cities is allowed: Riyadh, Makkah, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran, Hofuf, Jeddah, Taif, Qatif, Khobar and Al-Dair,” said Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, the  ministry spokesman.

Moreover, the suspension of international and domestic flights and public transportation will continue until further notice unless in some exceptional cases.

“Returning to normal life as it was before the crisis requires the full commitment of citizens and expats,” said Al-Shalhoub.

 

Decrease in mobility in numbers:

 

-77% shopping and luxury

 

-45% markets and pharmacies

 

-48% offices and workplace

 

+24% increase in people keeping to their own neighbourhood

 

 

 

COVID-19 cases:

 

1,223 new cases

 

15% Saudis

 

85% expats

 

17,522 total

 

15,026 active

 

115 critical

 

142 new recoveries

 

2,357 total recoveries

 

139 deaths


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

  • COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.