Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia closes schools and universities

Earlier on Sunday, the government locked down the eastern Qatif region to stop the outbreak

Secondary students sit for an exam in a government school in Riyadh June 15, 2008. Tens of thousands of Saudi students from elementary, middle and high schools have started their one-week mid-term exams.  REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed (SAUDI ARABIA) - GM1E46F1C6L01

Saudi Arabia has made the decision to close all of its schools and universities temporarily to control the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s Minster of Health Tawfig Al Rabiah said on Sunday.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Al Rabiah said that there were no confirmed cases in any schools or universities.

“But the increasing number of cases in countries made us keen to enhance the safety of our sons and daughters. Therefore, coordination was made with the Ministry of Education to suspend the study temporarily,” he said.

State media reported that the suspension would come into effect on Monday until further notice.

The minister did not say how long the suspension would last for.

Earlier, Saudi locked down the eastern Qatif region, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The total number of reported cases in the country is 11. The Saudi Interior Ministry said on Sunday that all of the diagnosed individuals were in the eastern region, and had either been to Iran or interacted with people who had visited the country.

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