Yemeni authorities declared Aden, interim seat of the Saudi-backed government, an "infested" city on Monday after the number of coronavirus cases there jumped and clashes erupted elsewhere in the south between separatists and government forces.
A five-year war has shattered Yemen's health system, pushed millions to the brink of famine and divided the country between the internationally recognised government and the Houthi group that ousted it from power in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014.
Those medical workers say they were defenseless to handle the contagion. During the first 90 days of the outbreak alone, about one medical staffer died each day and dozens became infected.
Saudi Arabia will enforce a 24-hour curfew across the kingdom during a 5-day holiday to celebrate Eid Al Fitr which marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the interior ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Health services are stretched thin in Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the respiratory pandemic, with 7,249 deaths and a total of 129,341 infections. The Health Ministry said in April that over 100 health workers had died of COVID-19.
Along with Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah, a woman in a wheelchair and another man were among the first to be administered the vaccine at a centre in Riyadh, on Thursday.
"The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA)... has approved the registration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," it said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The ministry reported 8,696 new coronavirus infections and 38 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the start of the country's outbreak in February last year to 1,001,854, including 15,098 deaths.
The kingdom has ordered that the social gatherings in homes to be limited to up to 30 people until Feb.21, state news agency BNA reported on Friday. It is also limiting outdoor group exercise to 30 people, while government institutions and entities must allow up to 70% of employees to work from home.