Saudi Arabia closes schools over coronavirus

By Eudore R. Chand

RIYADH 9 March 2020: Schools and universities will be closed in Saudi Arabia from today (Monday) until further notice to control the spread of coronavirus, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The Saudi Ministry of Education said the “preventive and precautionary” measures were recommended by the health authorities and are designed to protect students and staff.

The decision covers all educational institutions, including public and private schools, and technical and vocational training institutions, said Wam.

“The Minister of Education directed that virtual schools and distance education be activated while the schools are closed to ensure that the educational process continues in an effective and quality manner,” the ministry said.

The Kingdom’s Education Minister, Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh, said that the decision was a precautionary step and added that they are conducting daily and weekly evaluations before returning to school.

Saudi suspends entry, exit from Al Qatif

Saudi Arabia has suspended entry and exit from Al Qatif governorate after 11 coronavirus, Covid-19, cases in the kingdom originated there.

The temporary ban is implemented in view of “internationally established practices to prevent the spread of the virus outbreak require dealing at the geographical level”,” a source at the Ministry of Interior was quoted as saying by the Saudi Press Agency.

According to the decision returnees who live in the governorate will be allowed to reach their homes. Work in all government departments and private institutions in the governorate has been suspended, said Wam.

Moreover to prevent the possibility of infection transmission, precautionary measures have been increased with the exception of basic facilities to provide security, supply and necessary services, such as pharmacies, supply stores, petrol stations, and health, environmental, municipal and security facilities, while taking necessary health precautions.

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The ministry has enabled commercial and catering transport to move to and from the governorate, and taking necessary health precautions; anyone affected by this procedure will be granted a health licence to be issued electronically and approved by the Ministry of Health.

The ministry emphasised that the continued cooperation of all citizens in implementing the precautionary measures will have the greatest impact on the success of the taken measures, and enabling competent health authorities to provide the best medical care to prevent the spread of the virus outbreak and eliminate it to ensure the safety of all people.