As the novel Coronavirus continues to ravage the Middle East, countries in the region have taken drastic measures to limit the spread of the disease as well as mitigate the economic impact on its citizens.
Read Also: COVID-19: I Give To The Poor Directly, Not Govt – Apostle Suleman Slams Critics
Saudi Arabia has imposed a 24-hour curfew on two of the holy cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina, effective from Thursday in a bid to curb the outbreak in the country.
This was announced in a statement issued by Colonel, Talal Al-Shalhoub, the country’s Ministry of Interior spokesperson.
Read Also: VIDEO: Soldiers Threaten To Infect Warri Women With HIV For Killing Colleague
The curfew applies to all parts of Mecca and Medina. The curfew does not apply to those working in key occupations in the private or governmental sector who were previously exempted.
Adult residents of Makkah and Madinah are only allowed to leave their houses in dire emergencies, such as health care and food supplies and only around their districts from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also, all commercial activity is to be put on hold in these two cities, except for pharmacies, supermarkets, petrol stations and banking services.
The announcement further extends the curfew previously imposed on the two cities. The number of new COVID-19 cases in two cities — 48 cases in Mecca and 46 in Medina — are the highest of the 1,885 cases recorded in the Kingdom as at Thursday.
Read Also: Video: Lola Okoye Questions Whereabouts Of Abba Kyari
This comes after Mohammed Saleh Benten, Minister for Hajj and Umrah, urged Muslims to defer preparations for the annual Hajj pilgrimage scheduled in late July due to the global pandemic.
Some 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world usually flock to Mecca and Medina cities for the week-long ritual. The pilgrimage is also a significant source of income for the kingdom.
Elsewhere, the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has opposed the gouging of prices by commercial establishments and pharmacies trying to milk up the pandemic situation by exploiting its citizens.
Read Also: FINDING: Senators’ Monthly Salary Enough To Buy 127 Ventilators For COVID-19 Patients
The Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi (DED), therefore, issued a decree on Thursday punishing establishments needlessly increasing their prices or hoarding items with fines ranging from Dh250,000 and Dh2 million (N26,496,593-N211,972,744).
In addition to the fines, any outlet, according to the statement, caught in violations will be temporarily shut down and their trade licenses will be suspended for a period which is not less than a month and doesn’t exceed three months.
DED said the new decision will help control the markets and protect consumer rights.