CORONAVIRUS | Bahrain Eases Coronavirus Restrictions, Saudi Announce Hefty Fines

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Shops and industrial enterprises in Bahrain can open from Thursday while restaurants will stay closed to in-house diners, the Health Ministry said, as the Gulf state eases restrictions designed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Bahrain shuttered non-essential shops and businesses in late March and barred entry of foreign visitors, but did impose a curfew, unlike some other Gulf states.

Health Ministry officials told a news conference on Wednesday that employees and customers must wear face masks and practice physical distancing as restrictions are relaxed. Cinemas, sports facilities and salons remain closed.

The small island state has reported 3,720  infections with eight deaths from the COVID-19 respiratory disease. The total count  in the six Gulf Arab states exceeds 78,014 with 430 deaths.

Other Gulf countries eased curfews and other social and business restrictions with the start of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan two weeks ago.

In Saudi Arabia, where malls and wholesale reopened shops reopened last week, authorities announced stringent new penalties  for residents and citizens found to violate measures still in place to limit the spread of the virus.

Citing a royal decree signed  on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry spokesman said curfew violators could be fined up to 100,000 riyals and face up to a year in prison.

Those found to violate quarantine rules could be fined up to 200,000 riyals and face up to two years in prison, while those found to intentionally spread the virus could face a fine up to 500,000 riyals up to five years in prison.

Non-Saudi offenders would also be deported and permanently barred from re-entering the country.

The number of new infections in the kingdom continues to hover around 1,600 per day. Saudi Arabia has recorded 31,938 cases in total with 209 deaths so far.

Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah sought to quell fears over the steadily mounting numbers, saying that the uptick in confirmed cases was due to increase testing by health officials.

In a video posted on the health ministry’s Twitter page, he also credited the kingdom’s tracking and tracing efforts, as well as its treatment protocols, with keeping the fatality rate, currently at 0.7% relatively low.

Bahrain this week opened a 152-bed Covid-19 field hospital intensive care unit on an empty piece of land in Sitra, as part of plan to create 500 additional ICU beds for critical cases.


BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron in which they discussed bilateral relations. ‘During the call, they reviewed relations between the two countries and opportunities for joint cooperation. Regional and international developments were discussed, and a number of issues of common interest … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia expects to re-open its embassy in Qatar in the coming days, Saudi’s foreign minister said on Saturday, following a U.S.-backed détente last week in a three – year-old dispute between Arab states. It is just a matter a logistics, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told journalists in Riyadh … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

MILAN – – The start of the Formula One season has been delayed after the Australian Grand Prix was postponed from March to November because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Australian race in Melbourne has been rescheduled from March 21 to November 21. The Chinese GP has also been delayed but no new date has been … Continue reading SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

AL ULA – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says major investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia will amount to six trillion dollars over the next ten years, including 3 trillion dollars in investments in new projects, within the framework of the opportunities provided by Vision 2030, reported Saudi Press Agency. Saudi Arabia’s Crown … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia warned on Wednesday its citizens against travel without prior approval to 12 countries where the coronavirus pandemic is still not under control.The Interior Ministry said the countries were Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Somalia, Armenia, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Belarus.It added that the same permission applies to other countries … Continue reading TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

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