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Saudi Arabia imposed a 24-hour curfew in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina on Thursday, extending measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1,700 people in the kingdom and killed 16.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement there were some exceptions, including for essential and in order for residents to buy food and access medical care.

in those cities’ residential districts may only carry one to limit the virus’ transmission, it said.

The country of 30 million has taken drastic steps to contain the disease, halting international flights, closing most public places and suspending the year-round Umrah Pilgrimage.

On Tuesday, it asked Muslims to put plans for the annual hajj pilgrimage on hold pending more clarity about the pandemic.

Restrictions on movement have tightened, with entry and exit to Riyadh, Mecca, Medina and Jeddah heavily restricted.

Some neighbourhoods in Mecca and Medina were already under full lockdown, but in the rest of those cities, the curfew was previously from 1500 to 0600.

The eastern oil-producing province of Qatif, where the kingdom’s first coronavirus cases were reported last month among Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims returning from Iran, has been on lockdown for nearly four weeks.

Saudi Arabia has the most infections and deaths among the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council.

But public health officials say past experience combating the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) helped prepare the kingdom for the new coronavirus outbreak. (Reuters/NAN)

 

( The Nation)

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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International

Eid el Fitr: Saudi Arabia to Celebrate Eid el Fitr on May 24

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Eid el Fitr: Saudi Arabia to Celebrate Eid el Fitr on May 24 Saudi Arabia 750x375 1

Astronomical calculations have confirmed that there is no possibility for sighting the crescent moon of Shawwal in the evening of Friday, Ramadan 29, corresponding to May 22.

The calculations showed that moon will set before sun on Friday and hence Eid-ul-Fitr would be on Sunday, May 24, after completing 30 days of fasting, according to astronomers at the observatory of Majmaah University near Riyadh, reports Saudi Gazette online.

The observatory sources said, ‘According to the scientific calculations that were published on the astronomical observatory site that sun will set at 6:39pm at 293 degrees, and moon will set at 6:26pm on Friday, Ramadan 29, and this means the setting of the moon happens 13 minutes before sunset.’

‘On Saturday, Ramadan 30, corresponding to May 23, the sun will set at 6:40pm at 239 degrees, and crescent moon will set at 7:23 at 293 degrees, meaning that the crescent will stay on for 43 minutes after sunset at an altitude of 8.84 and elongation of 10.60,’ the observatory said.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Al-Mosnad, professor of climate at the Department of Geography of Al-Qassim University, and founder and head of the committee for naming climatic conditions, emphasised that the crescent moon will set on Friday about 10 minutes before sun in Makkah and therefore Eid will be on Sunday after completion of 30 days of Ramadan.

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Saudi Arabia, UAE mosques to be closed for Eid prayers – Officials

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Saudi Arabia, UAE mosques to be closed for Eid prayers – Officials Saudi Arabia 750x375 1

Mosques will remain closed for prayers on the Eid-Ul-Fitr festival, Saudi and United Arab Emirates officials said Friday.

They asked the population to adhere to safety guidelines to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Eid, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, may come up today or tomorrow in the Gulf region.

The Saudi Press Agency said the Islamic Affairs Minister, Abdullatif al-Sheikh, gave instructions not to have Eid prayers in mosques.

“Muslims will hold the Eid prayer at home because of the pandemic,” it quoted Sheikh Abdul Bari al-Thubaiti, the prayer leader, of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, as saying.

During Ramadan, prayers without worshippers were held by Imams in the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina, in the west of the kingdom.

In the UAE, the Dubai government’s media office said on Twitter that mosques will remain closed and listed a series of Eid customs that should not be observed, including family visits and giving gifts or money to children.

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