Saudi Arabia extends suspension of all passenger flights

Kingdom also extends suspension of workplace attendance for private and government staff

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Saudi Arabia is extending the suspension of all international and domestic passenger flights indefinitely amid heightened precautions to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The suspensions, barring "exceptional cases", will remain in place until further notice, the Ministry of Interior said on Sunday, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

Private and public sector employees are also barred from going to their workplace.

The directives are "based on concern for the health and safety of citizens and residents and as the current situation requires the continuation of the preventive and precautionary measures recommended by the competent health authorities to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus [Covid 19]," SPA reported, citing a ministry source.

Bus, taxi and train services are also suspended until further notice.

Saudi Arabia is also extending the suspension of workplace attendance for the private sector and government agencies until further notice.

The kingdom has reported 1,203 cases of the novel coronavirus and three deaths. There have been 37 recoveries to date.

Globally, the number of confirmed cases reached about 665,000, while the death toll climbed to about 31,000 and the number of people who have recovered is more than 140,200, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.

Countries around the world are stepping up measures to contain the rapid spread of the deadly virus and introducing huge stimulus packages to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on their economies.

The UAE last week suspended all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of airline passengers for a two-week period as part of the precautionary measures.

Jordan and Kuwait have also suspended all flights.