Saudi Arabia has suspended work in the private sector for 15 days as it takes stringent measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The directives issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development apply to all private establishments except for vital and sensitive infrastructure sectors such as electricity, water and communications, said a report.
Establishments have been told to reduce the number of workers in offices and facilities to no more than 40 per cent of their total workforces.
The directives call for strict adherence to the precautionary measures set by the Ministry of Health regarding workers required to come to work or their accommodations if this number exceeds 50 people. Their temperatures should be measured and symptoms checked at the entrance, and sufficient space be ensured between workers at the workplace, they said.
Workers, including pregnant and lactating women, those with respiratory diseases, immunodeficiency diseases and users of immunosuppressive drugs, tumors, chronic diseases, and workers over 55 years old, will be given 14 days of paid leave.
Excluded from these measures are activities related to food and medicine and their associated supply chains.
Saudi Arabia has reported 171 cases of coronavirus so far, and has taken measures to limit the spread of the pathogen, including closing mosques for daily prayers and announcing an extraordinary virtual G20 leaders summit next week.
The kingdom has already closed work in government offices for two weeks.