Saudi Arabia reports first coronavirus death as infection tally spikes to 767

Saudi Arabia suspends domestic travel for 14 days

Saudi Arabia suspends domestic travel for 14 days

The curfew will start 7 p.m. local time until 6 a.m. (1600-0300 GMT) for three weeks under a royal decree issued by King Salman.

In a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, where confirmed cases have more than tripled in the past week, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud has announced a nationwide curfew for the next 21 days.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reported its first death from the coronavirus, a 51-year-old Afghani resident, while the United Arab Emirates' main airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi said they would temporarily suspend all passenger flights from Thursday.

Also on Friday, the Saudi Customs announced in a separate statement its decision to stop the export of medicines as well as pharmaceutical and medical devices in order to provide the utmost protection for citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is in a virtual lockdown and has suspended regular, accredited taxi services as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The SPA said health workers, security and military officials would be exempt from the curfew, according to the royal order.

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The kingdom took drastic measures early on to contain the disease, including halting worldwide flights, suspending the Umrah year-round pilgrimage, closing mosques, schools, malls and restaurants, and imposing a nighttime curfew.

Saudi Arabia, which now presides over the group, said G20 finance Ministers and central bank governors met virtually on Monday to ramp up economic efforts to address the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia has also suspended prayers inside all its mosques except the holiest two sites in Islam in Mecca and Medina, a sensitive move in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

Last week, the kingdom unveiled stimulus measures amounting to 120 Saudi billion riyals ($32 billion) to support businesses and said it plans to raise borrowing to 50 percent of GDP.

Similar restrictions and stimulus measures have been reported by other countries in the Gulf, where more than 2,100 coronavirus infections have been reported so far.

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