Arab League appeals for end to all conflicts as King Salman imposes dusk to dawn curfew across Saudi Arabia; Oman cancels flight to India; Kuwait restricts people’s movements … reports Asian Lite News
Saudi’s King Salman issued an order imposing a curfew across Saudi Arabia from Monday evening to control the spread of the COVID-19 disease. A royal court statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said the curfew will start at 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. every day for 21 days from the evening of March 23, 2020 calendar.
King Salman’s order followed an announcement by the health ministry of 119 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, raising the total number in the Kingdom to 511. The order requires all people to stay in their homes during the curfew hours for their own safety.
The statement said the Ministry of Interior will undertake the necessary measures to implement the curfew, and all civil and military authorities are ordered to cooperate fully.
Meanwhile, the Arab League called Sunday to stop all fighting on all Arab fronts, noting that the global situation in the face of a global pandemic due to the Coronavirus, and continuing such conflicts is meaningless.
The remarks came in a message by Arab League Secretary-General Ahmad Abul-Gheit, marking the occasion of the League’s 75th anniversary since its inception, calling for an end to guns and conflicts.
Abul-Gheit said that the coronavirus crisis facing the world will put pressure on all available resources, and facing the pandemic will be the absolute priority among all aid programs.
Situation in Oman
Oman’s national airline Oman Air has suspended flight operations to and from India, Pakistan and due to coronavirus outbreak. In a statement, Oman Air said it will suspend all operations to Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore starting from March 22, 2020 till April 4, 2020.
“All those who have booked the flights must contact our call centre at 00968 24531111,” the airline added.Oman Air also suspended flights to Kathmandu in Nepal from March 25 to 31.
A statement issued by the airline regarding suspension of services to India said: “A statement issued online by Oman Air said: “Oman Air will suspend all flights between India and Oman until at least 28 March, 2020, pending further updates.
Oman Air clarified: “This comes as a result of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India is suspending commercial flights to and from all Indian airports, effective Sunday 22 March, 2020.”
“Indian authorities have said flights will not be allowed to depart for India after 0001 GMT on Sunday, 22 March 2020. Oman Air will conduct its flights accordingly and notify passengers if there are any changes to its scheduled flights,” the national carrier went on to say. “Guests based in India holding Oman Air flight bookings can contact our India call center at Tel: 01246421111 (24 hours) and our reservation offices from 0900 to 1730 hours(Monday to Saturday at 02262729000 or 01149970000.” Oman Air added
Oman authorities also decided to ban public gatherings and drastically cut the workforce at government institutions. The number of employees present at each government workplace should not exceed 30% of the overall workforce, Oman’s official news agency ONA reported.
Omani authorities urged private businesses to turn to remote working and advised against the use of banknotes in favour of electronic payment.
An Omani state committee also ordered a halt to printing newspapers, magazines and all leaflets to prevent the spread of the virus, the agency added.
Sale and circulation of publications issued abroad will also be banned in Oman.
The measures came shortly after health authorities announced three new virus cases, bringing total infections to 55 in Oman. Oman also shut currency exchange bureaus as part of measures to fight the coronavirus spread.
Kuwait on Alert
A report from Kuwait said it would start enforcing a partial curfew and extended a precautionary holiday for all employees for two more weeks.
A curfew is to take effect across the country starting since yesterday from 5pm-7am until further notice, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA reported. Violating the curfew will be punishable by up to three years in prison, the agency quoted a government statement as saying.
The Kuwaiti Health Ministry yesterday reported 12 new virus cases, raising to 188 the total of infections in the country. This week, the small oil-rich country extended the closure of all educational institutions until August.
Curfew in Saudi
The Saudi Ministry of Interior excluded following vital industries and government services from the curfew:
- Food sector (points of sale) such as catering and supermarkets And poultry and vegetable shops, meat, bakeries, food factories and laboratories;
- Health sector, such as pharmacies and the like, medical clinics (dispensaries), hospitals, laboratories, factories, factories and materials and medical devices;
- Media sector in its various means;
- Transportation sector, such as those transporting goods, parcels, customs clearance, warehouses, warehouses, logistics services, supply chains for the health sector, the food sector, and port operations;
- E-commerce activities such as those working in the electronic procurement applications for the excluded activities and those working in the delivery applications of the excluded activities;
- Accommodation services activities such as hotels and furnished apartments;
- Energy sector such as gas stations and emergency services for the electric company;
- Financial services and insurance sector, such as direct accidents (Najm), urgent health insurance services (approvals), and other insurance services;
- Telecom sector as Internet and communication network operators;
- Water sector, such as the water company emergency services and home drinking water delivery service (graying).