DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia eased curfews on Sunday across the country but kept 24-hour lockdowns in place in the city of Mecca and neighbourhoods previously put in isolation to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, state news agency SPA said.
It also signed a deal with China to conduct 9 million tests for the virus. Saudi has so far recorded 17,522 cases of infection and 139 deaths.
These are the highest numbers in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which together have recorded almost 46,000 cases and 258 deaths.
Outside Mecca and lockdown areas, curfews will be eased between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (0600-1400 GMT) until May 13. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began on Friday.
The royal order also allowed some economic and commercial activities to re-start, including wholesale and retail shops and shopping malls, from Wednesday until…