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Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia suspends government work

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended government work and ordered public sector workers to stay home for 16 days in the latest measures against the spread of coronavirus.
According to Arab News and Saudi media, only those working in health, security and the military are exempted from the decision to stop people attending the workplace. The Kingdom has closed malls and restaurants as well as shops, coffee shops, parks and gardens.
Only pharmacies and food supply activities such as supermarkets and hypermarkets would remain open. They have been instructed to sterilise shopping carts after each use by their clients.
Among other steps taken, Saudi Arabia has requested companies to quarantine expatriate workers for 14 days following their arrival. The Kingdom also suspended the gathering of people in parks and at beaches.
The measures come as the Kingdom announced fifteen new cases, taking the overall number to 118. They include a Filipino and an Indonesian who were in contact with a previously reported case and quarantined in Riyadh. Five other cases had been in contact with another known case and have been quarantined in Qatif.
Another case was a Spanish resident who had arrived from Spain, and two women citizens who had arrived back in the Kingdom from the UK and Spain. Other cases had arrived from Iraq, Iran, Egypt, the UK and Switzerland. Three patients have made a full recovery and are in good health.
The new measures taken by Saudi Arabia are among some of the most comprehensive among the Gulf states. They include halting international passenger flights, canceling Umrah pilgrimages and locking down the eastern Qatif region.
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