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Strict COVID-19 curfew will remain in Saudi Arabia for Eid al-Fitr

By
Don Jacobson
Palestinian Imam Ali Hamdan wears a face mask as he prays at the Al-Abrar Mosque in Rafah southern Gaza, on April 17 before the start of Ramadan. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI
Palestinian Imam Ali Hamdan wears a face mask as he prays at the Al-Abrar Mosque in Rafah southern Gaza, on April 17 before the start of Ramadan. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

May 13 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia will maintain a national curfew the during the five-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which begins in a little more than a week, state media said Wednesday.

The Saudi News Agency reported interior ministry officials have decided to continue a "complete curfew throughout the day in all cities and regions" for the Islamic holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan, from May 23-27.

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The move is based on information about the coronavirus outbreak from Saudi health officials. Saudi cases of COVID-19 are still on an upward trajectory. Nearly 43,000 cases have been noted since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Saudi health officials are seeing about 2,000 new cases per day this week.

Most of the country has been under strict stay-home orders for weeks, although restrictions on some shopping malls were loosened in April except in the holy city of Mecca. The guidelines will continue during Eid al-Fitr, the interior ministry said.

Ramadan began on April 23 and the month-long observance is the most sacred among Muslims. It consists of fasting, familial gatherings, communal prayer and a three-day feast at its conclusion.

Palestinians celebrate Ramadan 2020

Devotees pray in the Al-Abrar mosque. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

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