RIYADH, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia announced on Monday the suspension of attendance at workplaces in all government agencies for 16 days against COVID-19 outbreak.
A waiter who is a foreign worker in Saudi Arabia, wearing a protective mask as a precaution against COVID-19 coronavirus disease, serves a Saudi family at a restaurant along Tahlia street in the centre of the Saudi capital Riyadh on March 15, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
An official in the Saudi interior ministry said in a statement that the decision excludes health, security, and military sectors, the electronic security center, and the remote education system in the education sector.
The decision also includes the closing down of commercial markets and malls, except pharmacies and food supply businesses which commit to sterilizing shopping carts.
The ministry also ordered the closure of men's barbershops and women's beauty salons.
Service at food and beverage places is limited only to take-away requests, and customers are not allowed to sit inside the stores, the official added.
The decision was taken as part of measures to prevent the coronavirus outbreak, while 118 virus-infected cases have been confirmed in the kingdom, with 15 new cases on Sunday, according to the latest health ministry's statistics.