RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is to screen travelers arriving from China after the outbreak of a new coronavirus.
The Kingdom will assess passengers arriving on direct and indirect flights from China to ensure their safety, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry is coordinating with the Kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and advised those traveling to affected cities to avoid markets, dead or live animals and animal derived products.
The ministry will also closely monitor how the virus evolves by communicating with the World Health Organization (WHO), the statement added.
Deaths from the flu-like virus rose to 17 on Wednesday with more than 540 cases confirmed.
The virus, which first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, is suspected of originating from illegally traded wildlife.
The virus, which can pass from person-to-person, has been reported in Thailand, Japan and South Korea, raising concerns about its spread through international air travel.
The United States, Australia and several other countries have introduced screening measures at major airports.