It has been announced by Saudi Arabia that Mosques will not be open anymore for the customary five daily prayers or Friday congregation. The government has taken this step to control the spread of coronavirus that has infected 171 people in the kingdom.
A virtual leaders’ summit is announced by Saudi Arabia which chairs the Group of 20 major economies. The aim is “to put forward a coordinated set of policies to protect people and safeguard the global economy.”
More than 1000 infections have been registered in Saudi Arabia. Most of them are linked to the travel to Iran which is the epicenter for the outbreak in the Middle East.
Also read: Saudi Arabia Suspends Flights to Pakistan
Similarly, Oman, where 9 cases have been reported, is closing mosques, restaurants, coffee shops, tourist sites, and traditional markets and malls. The country has barred foreigners from entering and nationals are barred from leaving.
In Qatar, the cases have surged to 442. The country has shut down mall shops and closed part of an industrial zone for at least a couple of weeks.
Drastic steps have been taken by Saudi Arabia to slow down the spread of the virus. This includes suspension of the Umrah pilgrimage and suspending international flights.
Only at two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina prayers will continue. Also, the Kingdom suspended work for government workers except in the health, military and security sectors.
For financial institutions the central bank continued business plans and work-from-home measures while the regular meetings of the Council of Ministers was postponed for two weeks.