Middle East countries extend coronavirus lockdowns despite economic damage

Middle East countries extend coronavirus lockdowns despite economic damage
The coronavirus crisis has seen a number of major Middle East cities in full lockdown.
2 min read
13 April, 2020
Jordan has seen one of the strictest lockdowns in the world [Getty]

A number of Arab countries have extended their lockdowns of major cities in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, despite the curfews having a devastating impact on local businesses.

Jordan announced on Sunday that it was extending its lockdown - one of the strictest in the world - until the end of the month, as part of efforts against Covid-19.

The curfew which began on 20 March saw shops closed and people confined to their homes, with a complete pause on everyday life.

Jordan has seen 389 cases of Covid-19 and seven deaths with hopes that the extension of the lockdown could halt the number of reported cases.

The country's economy has been hard hit by the lockdown, with Jordan lifting restrictions on some exports to help local business survive the crisis.

Saudi Arabia also announced on Sunday that it was extending a lockdown of several major cities in the kingdom "indefinitely".

Cities such as Riyadh have 24-hour curfews in place while nationwide thee is a lockdown running between 3pm and 6am with violators facing jail and finds.

Saudi Arabia has acknowledged 4,462 cases of Covid-19 and 59 deaths from the virus - the biggest outbreak in the Gulf region. Experts fear the kingdom could see 200,000 cases of the virus

Other Gulf states have also enacted strict measures to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Oman sealed off the capital Muscat on Friday, with restrictions at entries and exits to the governorate.

Syria has also enforced a nationwide curfew to cope with the crisis with 25 recorded cases of the virus and two deaths. 

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