Refugees

Officials in Greece on Sunday placed a second migrant camp near Athens under lockdown after an Afghan resident tested positive for the coronavirus, the Migration Ministry said. Officials said the camp in Malakasa, some 38 kilometres (24 miles) northeast of Athens, had been placed under "full sanitary isolation" for 14 days, with no one allowed to enter or leave. The ministry said the 53-year-old Afghan man, who has a prior ailment, had personally sought help with virus symptoms at the in-camp medical facility. He was subsequently taken to an Athens hospital where he tested positive, and his family was quarantined. A full screening of the camp is in process, the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia

On Monday, Saudi Arabia extended the duration of daily curfews in four governorates and five cities, including the capital, to 24 hours to combat coronavirus as confirmed deaths from the disease hit 38. The kingdom imposed round-the-clock lockdowns on the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran and Hofuf, the Interior Ministry said on Twitter. The same measures were also imposed on the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar, the ministry added. Authorities had already sealed off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina along with Riyadh and Jeddah, barring people from entering and exiting as well as prohibiting movement between all provinces. Saudi Arabia has reported the highest number of infections in the Gulf.

Tunisia

Tunisia's parliament on Saturday gave the prime minister special powers for two months to allow for the accelerated adoption of measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh will be able to issue decrees without referring to the legislature in an effort to battle the pandemic.

Tunisia's interior ministry warned on Tuesday that people infected with coronavirus could be prosecuted for manslaughter if they contaminate others by disobeying the health ministry's instructions. "If someone who is sick does not self-isolate as required in line with health ministry instructions, and they contaminate someone else, we will pursue them under the penal code," Interior Minister Hichem Mechichi told reporters.

Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced an extensive curfew for people under 20 years of age on Friday. Two days later, the Ministry of the Interior announced some workers were exempt, including seasonal workers in agriculture and some others under contract. Since Friday night, 31 cities, including the two largest Ankara and Istanbul, have been largely sealed off, with entry and exit only allowed for important supplies. At this stage the measure will apply for 15 days.

On Tuesday, Turkey's parliament debated a controversial bill for the early release of tens of thousands of inmates in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in prisons. The measure, proposed by the ruling party, has drawn criticism from rights groups for whom it excludes – opposition politicians, journalists, academics, civil servants and lawyers accused of terrorism-related charges. It's also not applicable to those in pre-trial detention, such as pro-Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, 46, philanthropist Osman Kavala, 62, and journalist and author Ahmet Altan, 67.

 

(AFP/AP/dpa/Reuters)

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