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Wed 25 Mar 2020 11:42 AM

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In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Saudi Arabia, which has reported the highest number of infections in the Gulf, began implementing a nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew on Monday to limit the spread of the deadly COVID-19 illness. The Arab world's biggest economy has also closed down cinemas, malls and restaurants, halted flights and suspended the year-round umrah pilgrimage as it steps up efforts to contain the virus.

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Streets in Riyadh were deserted Monday as Saudi Arabia implemented a nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, the latest in a series of restrictions as infections soar. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Police cars warned people over loudspeakers to stay off the streets after the 11-hour curfew went into effect at 7 pm (1600 GMT) following a royal order from King Salman. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

The curfew, which state media said will be imposed for 21 days, comes as Saudi Arabia declared 562 coronavirus infections -- the highest in the Gulf. No deaths have been reported so far. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

The Saudi royal guard, an elite internal security force, said it was working with other security agencies to implement the curfew as it released images on Twitter of a convoy of military trucks driving through the streets at dusk. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Bathed in amber light, Riyadh's main thoroughfares and public highways -- typically packed with cars -- were largely empty, though Saudis posted on social media videos of some young men who tried to breach the curfew. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

The interior ministry has warned that transgressors will be fined 10,000 Saudi riyals ($2,663) and could face jail for repeated breaches. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Health sector employees as well as security and military officials will be exempt from the curfew restrictions, according to the royal order.  Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

King Salman warned on Thursday of a "more difficult" fight ahead against the virus, as the kingdom faces the double blow of virus-led shutdowns and crashing oil prices.  Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

The Arab world's biggest economy has closed down cinemas, malls and restaurants, halted flights and suspended the year-round umrah pilgrimage as it steps up efforts to contain the deadly virus.  Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Last week, the kingdom unveiled stimulus measures amounting to 120 billion riyals ($32 billion) to support businesses and said it plans to raise borrowing to 50 percent of GDP.  Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Saudi Arabia has also suspended prayers inside all its mosques except the holiest two sites in Islam in Mecca and Medina, a sensitive move in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.  Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

More than 1,300 coronavirus infections have been detected in the Gulf region, with most cases initially identified among travellers returning from Iran -- one of the world's worst affected countries.  Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Saudi implements dusk-to-dawn curfew over coronavirus. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Saudi implements dusk-to-dawn curfew over coronavirus. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Saudi implements dusk-to-dawn curfew over coronavirus. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Saudi implements dusk-to-dawn curfew over coronavirus. Image: SPA

In pictures: Silence across Saudi Arabia as 'dusk-to-dawn' coronavirus curfew

Saudi implements dusk-to-dawn curfew over coronavirus. Image: SPA