Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman imposes evening curfew

Employees in vital sectors will be exempt from the measures

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a curfew order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, lasting for an initial period of three weeks from Monday.

It will apply every day from 7pm until 6am.

The Ministry of Interior called on civil and military authorities to co-operate fully with the measures, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

Some workers will be exempt from the curfew. These include employees of vital parts of the public and private sectors whose work requires continued performance during the prevention period, the government said.

It also includes employees in the security, military and media, and those in relevant health and service sectors.

The ministry urged citizens to stay in their homes, especially during the curfew, and not to leave except in cases of necessity.

The Saudi Health Ministry said on Sunday that the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country had increased to 511, with 119 new patients.

Saudi Arabia has the most coronavirus cases in the GCC, at more than 1,700.

The ministry said 23,000 people had been tested for coronavirus and that 17 people were discharged from hospital after recovering.

Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Mohammed Abdelali said 72 of the new cases were Turkish nationals under quarantine in the holy city of Makkah.