Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia completes Qatif region, mostly Shi'a
Cleaners wear protective masks as they clean the floor at the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, March 3, 2020. REUTERS / Ganoo Essa
Text by: RFI Follow
Faced with the spread of the Coronavirus, Saudi Arabia announces the closure of the Qatif region, in the east of the kingdom, where the 11 known cases of coronavirus have been identified in the country.
Coronavirus cases confirmed in recent days in Saudi Arabia involve people returning from Iran, one of the most affected countries in the world.
The Saudi province of Qatif, in the east of the kingdom, is populated for the most part by Shiite Muslims, like Iran, which feeds a flow of travelers between these two territories.
This Sunday, March 8, Saudi Arabia therefore announced the "temporary" closure of the Qatif region. Entrances and exits are suspended. It is the first time that the coronavirus has resulted in such a decision in a country on the Arabian Peninsula where a total of several hundred cases have been reported from Bahrain to Kuwait.
In recent days, the Saudi kingdom has taken other measures, starting with the suspension of Umrah , the Muslim pilgrimage that takes place throughout the year in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, located on the coast west of the country.
► Read also: Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia suspends the entry of pilgrims into its territory
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