A man wears a protective face mask amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a market in the old quarter Sanaa, Yemen, on March 18, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Riyadh: The Saudi-led military coalition declared a two-week ceasefire in Yemen starting Thursday in a bid to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus, a senior Saudi official said.

“We are announcing a ceasefire starting (Thursday) for two weeks. We are expecting the Huthis (Yemeni rebels) will accept. We are preparing the ground to fight COVID-19” in Yemen, the official said.

The unilateral ceasefire will begin at 9am GMT on Thursday (1pm UAE), he added. The Saudi-led military coalition has been active in Yemen’s conflict in support of an internationally recognised government since 2015.