Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia confirms total of 171 cases

People walk near a banner with an instruction on personnel hygiene, following the outbreak of coronavirus, at a street in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 16, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi Arabia confirmed a total of 171 cases of the deadly coronavirus in the country, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

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Out of the 171 cases, 104 are Saudi citizens while the remaining 67 are of other nationalities. The ministry also confirmed that 38 people were infected after having direct contact with others who had coronavirus.

Children as young as six years old have been infected, the spokesman for the ministry said.

Private sector business were asked to suspend work for 15 days early on Wednesday and activate remote work procedures, following instructions from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The government issued guidelines for employers and employees to help maintain productivity and the well-being of everyone in private sector businesses.

Employees in the Kingdom’s government agencies, except for those working in the health, security, or military sectors, were given a 16-day leave earlier this month.

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The spokesman praised citizens’ and residents’ commitment to staying at home, and reiterated the ministry’s calls on maintaining social distancing.

People should stay at home unless absolutely necessary to contain the spread of the virus, the spokesman added. Everyone should follow precautionary measures that the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended, including regularly washing your hands and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, he said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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