Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Gulf Today Report
Saudi Arabia has enforced further measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, announcing the suspension of all events and parties, including weddings, corporate meetings and gatherings for a period of 30 days, subject to extension.
Kuwait also said it will suspend entry for non-citizens for two weeks from Feb.7 after a rise in coronavirus cases.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited an official source at the Ministry of Interior who said that the measures were put in place in light of emerging indicators of "an increase in the epidemic curve" in some regions of Saudi Arabia caused by lax implementation of precautionary measures.
The country will also shut down cinemas, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, gyms and sports centres, for 10 days, also subject to extension.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior said the decision follows a second outbreak of COVID-19 in some countries, and as an effort to preserve public health and prevent the outbreak of a second wave of the epidemic in the Kingdom, which may further strain the country's health facilities.
The Kuwait cabinet, in a statement, said first-degree relatives, such as parents and children, and accompanying domestic workers would be exempt from the entry ban, and that all those arriving in the country would have to quarantine.
It ordered the closure of gyms and salons and asked other commercial businesses to cease operating at 8:00 pm, with the exception of pharmacies, supermarkets and other food stores.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency cited Saleh Bin Taher Banten's remarks in stories early on Wednesday, saying that Muslims should "be patient” in making their plans for the Hajj. The pilgrimage was expected to begin in late July this year.
Those holding valid residency visas should apply online and they will be sent flight details once arranged, SPA reported the interior ministry as saying.
Restrictions will be lifted in three phases, culminating in the curfew completely ending — with the exception of the holy city of Makkah — from June 21, the state news agency reported in a statement early on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia will end a nationwide curfew and lift restrictions on businesses from Sunday morning after three months of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, state news agency SPA quoted a source in the interior ministry as saying on Saturday.
A Taliban delegation arrived on Saturday in Norway for three days of talks with Western diplomats and members of Afghan civil society, which it hopes will help "transform the atmosphere of war" in Afghanistan.
The British ministry said it had information the Russian government was considering former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevhen Murayev as a potential candidate to head a pro-Russian leadership.
Lawmakers exchanged blows in the Honduran Congress Friday as a dispute among members of president-elect Xiomara Castro's party turned violent.