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Mon 9 Mar 2020 09:38 AM

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Saudi Arabia closes all schools and universities to stem spread of coronavirus

Four new cases confirmed in the kingdom takes total number to 15

Saudi Arabia closes all schools and universities to stem spread of coronavirus

The decision covers all educational institutions, including public and private schools, and technical and vocational training institutions. Image: SPA

Saudi Arabia has closed all schools and universities in the kingdom “until further notice”, in an attempt to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

On Sunday authorities closed all schools and higher education institutions in Qatif province in the eastern region for two weeks.

However, that has since been extended throughout the country, 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.

"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.

Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh said daily and weekly evaluations will take place before students are allowed to return to school.

Four more cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Monday morning, taking the total number of people diagnosed in Saudi Arabia to 15.

The Ministry of Health said the four people included three people who are currently in quarantine in the Al-Qatif Governate and a further person, a US resident, who is in isolation in a Riyadh hospital.

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