Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Friday decided to suspend all domestic flights, buses, taxis, and trains for a period 14 days to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading further in the country.
Flights associated with humanitarian assistance and medical evacuation as well as private planes were immune in the new measure that will come into effect from Saturday, Xinhua news agency quoted state media as saying.
Transports associated with health services, food, and water, as well as cargo ships and freight will not be affected either, it added.
Saudi Arabia also suspended the prayers in the outer squares of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina starting Friday.
Hani bin Hosni Haider, spokesman for the general presidency for the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, said that the decision by the security and health authorities is part of the precautionary measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Also on Friday, the Saudi Customs announced in a separate statement its decision to stop the export of medicines as well as pharmaceutical and medical devices in order to provide the utmost protection for citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has so far registered 274 coronavirus cases, eight of whom have recovered.
March 20 (IANS)