Yemen's Hadramaut province has ordered a temporary curfew as part of measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The country has not yet recorded any cases of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), but aid groups are concerned that when or if it does hit, the impact will be catastrophic.
Hadramaut governor Maj. Gen. Faraj al-Bahsani on Thursday (April 2nd) announced the 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily curfew, which bans the movement of residents and vehicles.
The curfew is expected to be in effect for several days, after which time the decision will be re-evaluated.
The curfew does not apply to medical teams and health workers or to the province's emergency committee, which have been working to enhance their preparedness for a potential outbreak at allocated sites.
Al-Bahsani instructed security commanders across the province to strictly implement the curfew and urged residents to fully comply for the sake of their own health.
Taking the virus seriously
Hadramaut residents are taking the order seriously, Hadramaut's 2nd Military District spokesman Hesham al-Jabri told Al-Mashareq.
"Compliance with the curfew was excellent," he said, noting that people have heeded the order and there have been no enforcement issues so far.
"Residents' compliance with the curfew decision confirms they comply with the local authority's decisions to protect them in case the virus spreads, God forbid," al-Jabri said.
"This shows the people are very aware of the worldwide spread of the pandemic," he added.
Yemen's Ministry of Health meanwhile received 81 ambulances and six mobile clinics equipped with supplies to treat coronavirus patients from the WHO.
According to Deputy Minister of Health Ali al-Walidi, the ambulances and clinics are funded by Saudi Arabia's King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) and the UAE.
Al-Walidi also serves as spokesman for the emergency committee formed to handle the coronavirus response.
As a further measure to prevent the spread of the virus, the markets unit of the Sanaa administrative district's Public Works and Roads Office has closed 43 unofficial markets for the sale of qat.