With the five-day Eid al-Fitr holiday approaching fast and a recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases within the nation, Saudi Arabia has announced in will introduce full day lockdowns across the country.
Lockdown restrictions had been eased last month and members of the public are now able to leave their homes between the hours of 9:00 to 17:00. It’s speculated that due to the recent rise in cases the Kingdom is taking precautionary measures to halt the spread of the virus amongst the Saudi population by implementing the lockdown throughout the holiday, as it is a time where friends and family gather together to celebrate. The ministry has emphasized the importance of practicing social distancing and self-isolation, and gatherings of more than five people have been prohibited within the country.
In March, the Kingdom suspended the year-round "umrah" pilgrimage due to concerns that it could contribute to the virus’ spread in Islam's holiest cities, along with a defer in the preparations for the annual pilgrimage initially scheduled for late July.
As reported by The National, Saudi Arabia has reported the highest number of virus cases in the Gulf region with 42,925 confirmed cases and 264 deaths. More than 1,900 daily cases for three consecutive days in the last two and a half weeks have been reported.
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