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Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia to go under full lockdown during Eid holiday

The lockdown, to be enforced on the last day Ramadan, follows a spike in coronavirus infections in the kingdom
A Saudi woman stands at a watch polishing kiosk at a Tiba gold market in the capital Riyadh on 30 April 2020, after the partial lifting of the curfew (AFP)

Saudi Arabia will impose a complete five-day lockdown starting on the last day of Ramadan later this month, in an effort to curb a spike in coronavirus infections.

The round-the-clock curfew will be imposed nationwide from 23-27 May, the interior ministry said in a statement, coinciding with the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

The kingdom has reported the highest number of virus cases in the Gulf region, with 42,925 confirmed Covid-19 infections and 264 deaths.

The interior ministry along with relevant authorities will oversee the lockdown measures and people’s adherence to the restrictions.

Last month, the government eased the 9am-5pm curfew imposed on most parts of Saudi Arabia following the outbreak.

The kingdom in March suspended the Umrah pilgrimage, which attracts millions of people throughout the year, over fears of widespread infections.

However, it is yet to announce whether it will proceed with this year’s Hajj, scheduled for late July, but has asked Muslims to put their pilgrimage plans on hold in light of uncertainty caused by the pandemic.