Coronavirus: Saudi closes malls in Riyadh and Jeddah

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Restaurants also restricted to food delivery services only after decision announced by municipal authorities on Sunday

March 15, 2020

March 15, 2020

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Local municipalities in Saudi Arabia's major cities including the capital Riyadh said on Sunday that malls, restaurants, coffee shops and public parks will close to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Shops and children's play areas will also close. However, supermarkets, pharmacies and food delivery are to remain unaffected.

Local media said the measures would apply across the kingdom, where 103 Covid-19 infections have been diagnosed.

A diner in Riyadh told Reuters the restaurant she had been sitting in shuttered about 45 minutes before the announcement was made.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia unveiled a 50 billion riyal (Dh48.9bn) stimulus package to shore up its private sector and offset the coronavirus's impact on the economy. It had also suspended all international flights for two weeks.

The number of people killed in the coronavirus pandemic reached more than 5,800 on Sunday. The total number of cases worldwide sits above 157,000 with almost 75,900 recoveries.

Updated: March 15, 2020 11:14 PM

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