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Saudi suspends events, shuts malls and sports centres; Kuwait bans entry for non-citizens

Saudi Arabia has enforced further measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, announcing the suspension of all events and parties, including weddings, corporate meetings and gatherings for a period of 30 days, subject to extension.

Kuwait also said it will suspend entry for non-citizens for two weeks from Feb.7 after a rise in coronavirus cases.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited an official source at the Ministry of Interior who said that the measures were put in place in light of emerging indicators of “an increase in the epidemic curve” in some regions of Saudi Arabia caused by lax implementation of precautionary measures. 

The country will also shut down cinemas, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, gyms and sports centres, for 10 days, also subject to extension.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said the decision follows a second outbreak of COVID-19 in some countries, and as an effort to preserve public health and prevent the outbreak of a second wave of the epidemic in the Kingdom, which may further strain the country’s health facilities.

The Kuwait cabinet, in a statement, said first-degree relatives, such as parents and children, and accompanying domestic workers would be exempt from the entry ban, and that all those arriving in the country would have to quarantine.

It ordered the closure of gyms and salons and asked other commercial businesses to cease operating at 8:00 pm, with the exception of pharmacies, supermarkets and other food stores.

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