Middle East

Saudi Arabia eases Covid-19 curbs as daily cases fall below 100

SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia started on Sunday (Oct 17) to ease precautionary measures against Covid-19 as daily cases dropped to below 100, Xinhua reported.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation also announced the operation of all airports at full capacity, the Saudi Press Agency reported. Meanwhile, the kingdom will continue to monitor the immunisation status of travellers.

From Sunday, wearing masks is no longer obligatory in open-air places. The easing of curbs also include cancelling social distancing rules and allowing full capacity in gatherings, public places, restaurants and cinemas.

The kingdom has been seeing fewer than 100 new cases daily. The Saudi health authorities attributed the reduction of new cases to the nationwide vaccination campaign and steps to limit the spread of the virus.

The Saudi Gazzette reported on Saturday that total infections were at 547,890 and total deaths at 8,760. There were 110 cases in critical condition on Saturday.

At the Grand Mosque in Mecca, workers removed floor markings that guide people to social distance in and around the place of worship, which is built around the Kaaba, the black cubic structure towards which Muslims around the world pray, AFP reported.

This is in line with the decision to ease precautionary measures and allow pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque at full capacity, reported the official Saudi Press Agency.

Pictures and footage on Sunday morning showed people praying side by side, making straight rows of worshippers that are formations revered in performing Muslim prayers, for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold last year.

The Saudi Health Ministry said it will continue to monitor the situation and decide if there is a need to tighten preventive measures in case of an increase in hospitalised Covid-19 cases, including patients in the intensive care unit, Xinhua reported.

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