Saudi Arabia on Friday decided to suspend all domestic flights, buses, taxis and trains for a period 14 days to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading further in the country.

Flights associated with humanitarian assistance and medical evacuation as well as private planes were immune in the new measure that will come into effect from Saturday, Xinhua news agency quoted state media as saying.

Transports associated with health services, food and water, as well as cargo ships and freight will not be affected either, it added.

Saudi Arabia also suspended the prayers in the outer squares of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina starting Friday.

On Thursday, according to the health ministry, there are 36 new coronavirus cases in the country.

Of the new cases, 17 people came from other countries including Morocco, Britain, Spain, Iran, Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, India, the US and Egypt.

The other 19 cases were of people who had been in contact with previously announced cases of coronavirus.

The ministry said 21 of the cases were in Riyadh, four in Qatif, three in Makkah, three in Dammam, two in Al-Hufuf, and one in each of Jeddah, Dhahran and Mayhel Assir.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom has reached 274, the ministry further added, Arab News reported.

Two cases had recovered on Thursday, raising the number of those who have recovered to eight. Two cases are in critical condition, while the rest are stable.

(With inputs from agency)