COVID-19: Saudi Arabia records 3,334 curfew violations in single day

Saudi security agencies had recorded in a single day a total of 3,334 violations nationwide of a curfew in place to fight the new coronavirus, a senior official at the Interior Ministry has said.

The capital Riyadh led the violations with 1,845, followed by the holy city of Mecca with 281 and the Eastern Province with 277, the Saudi news portal Sabq reported, quoting Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Talal Al Shalhoub.

“There is a link between the rise in virus cases in these three regions and violations of the curfew,” the official added. “What is certain is that gatherings contribute to the increase in the spread of the virus and its easy transmission,” he said.

The official said street vendors had been registered doing business in several places without abiding by social distance and in violation of rules. “We confirm that gatherings of all their forms are prohibited,” Lt.Col. Shalhoub said, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.

Saudi Arabia so far has reported a tally of 52,016 coronavirus cases, including 302 fatalities.

Violations of the curfew in the kingdom are punishable by a fine of 10,000 Saudi riyals that doubles in case of repetition. The repeat violator also faces up to 20 days in prison.

In an attempt to stem the coronavirus, the kingdom will enforce a 24-hour nationwide curfew for five days starting from Ramadan 30, including the Eid holiday.