Gulf Arab states launch new restrictions over virus fears

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Gulf Arab states on Thursday launched new restrictions over fears of the coronavirus resurging throughout their international locations.

With populations together with largely younger and wholesome international laborers, many Gulf international locations have averted the upper loss of life tolls seen elsewhere around the globe. However, reported case numbers look like rising because the New Year, sparking concern whilst a number of regional international locations have among the highest per capita vaccination charges on this planet.

In Saudi Arabia, the place authorities have already got banned travel to the dominion from 20 international locations, together with the U.S., officers additionally ordered all weddings and events suspended. It closed down all purchasing malls, gyms and different places for 10 days, in addition to indoor eating. Authorities warned the brand new measures may very well be prolonged.

The kingdom additionally ordered cemeteries to make sure graveside funerals have a distance of 100 meters (328 ft) between them.

State-run Saudi Press Agency blamed the brand new procedures on “the emergence of indicators of an increase in the epidemic curve in some regions of Saudi Arabia that were caused by lax implementation of the preventive and precautionary measures and approved protocols.”

Saudi Arabia noticed a peak in coronavirus instances in June. The kingdom introduced these each day reported case numbers down below 100 in early January, however reported over 300 instances on Wednesday alone, in keeping with authorities statistics.

Overall, the dominion has reported over 368,000 instances of COVID-19, with 6,380 deaths.

In Kuwait, authorities have ordered a two-week ban on foreigners arriving to the nation starting Sunday. Separately, officers have ordered most companies closed from eight p.m. to five a.m. starting Sunday for the following month. It closed well being golf equipment, spas and gymnasiums, in addition to banned celebrations for its upcoming Feb. 25 National Day.

“Non-compliance and recklessness could take the country back to square one in its fight against the pandemic,” Kuwaiti Health Minister Dr. Basel Al Sabah mentioned, in keeping with the state-run KUNA information company.

Kuwait equally noticed case numbers drop starting in late November, solely to start to spike after the New Year. The small nation has reported over 166,000 instances of the coronavirus, with 950 deaths.

Qatar equally introduced new restrictions Wednesday on each day life, although not as extreme as different international locations. In Doha, the state-run Qatar News Agency quoted COVID-19 job drive chairman Dr. Abdullatif al-Khal as warning that “a remarkable increase with an accelerated pace in the number of infections and the reproductive factor of the virus were recorded, which may be an early indicator of a possible second wave.”

Qatar additionally has seen instances start to rise after the New Year. Overall, the nation has reported over 152,000 instances of the virus, with 240 deaths.

Oman, which has closed its land borders since mid-January however saved flights going, has been warning its public that instances proceed to rise. It additionally reported discovering instances of individuals contaminated with coronavirus variants.

Omani Health Minister Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Saidi additionally mentioned earlier this week that “some people (have been) taking off their tracking bracelet after arriving at the country’s border crossings, and putting them on elderly people who do not usually leave the home” to keep away from quarantining, in keeping with the Times of Oman. The sultanate requires individuals to stay quarantined at home for every week after coming into the nation.

Oman has reported over 134,000 coronavirus instances, with 1,500 deaths attributed to the virus.

Earlier this week, Dubai within the United Arab Emirates, which opened itself as a global travel vacation spot in July, closed all bars and pubs for the whole month of February and restrict different actions after a spike in coronavirus instances adopted New Year’s Eve celebrations that drew guests from around the globe.

Dubai authorities additionally warned lodges and eating places to “postpone any exercise that results in massive gatherings corresponding to weekend brunches,” the state-linked newspaper The National reported. Dubai’s alcohol-soaked weekend brunches, which feature unlimited food and drinks, had been going on at some restaurants and bars despite the pandemic.

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Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

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