To limit coronavirus contagion during religious gatherings, Saudi Arabia emptied Islam's holiest site in Mecca to sterilise it.

KUALA LUMPUR: Saudi Arabia imposed a 24-hour curfew in Makkah and Madinah Thursday until further notice as part of its latest measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

According to an official source at the Ministry of Interior, only adult residents are allowed to leave their homes daily for medical care and food supplies, within their residential neighbourhoods, from 6am to 3pm.

A maximum of two people are allowed to travel in one car at a time, including the driver.

It added that the ban of entry and exit from the two cities will be continued except to those working in the vital government and private sectors.

Only pharmacies, food supply stores, gas stations and banking services are allowed to operate under these new measures.

“The Ministry of Interior called on all citizens and residents to use express delivery services through smart device applications, to request food and medicine needs and other excluded goods and services delivered to their homes,” it said.

The Ministry assured the people that these measures were taken within the framework of the Kingdom’s efforts to preserve public health and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and that they are subject to continuous evaluation with relevant health authorities.

It also called on everyone to sense individual responsibilities, follow instructions, and adhere to isolation measures for the public interest. – Bernama