Expatriates wait for mandatory coronavirus testing in a makeshift testing centre in Mishref, Kuwait, on March 14. Image Credit: REUTERS

CAIRO: Kuwait decided on Saturday to close all shopping malls except for those related to food supplies, the state news agency reported on Twitter.

The agency added that all children’s entertainment centres and male and female salons will be closed to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Gulf Arab states have stepped up measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait taking the most drastic decisions by cancelling all international flights.

Saudi Arabia, which reported 17 new cases on Saturday to bring its total to 103, said it would suspend flights for two weeks from Sunday, while Kuwait did not specify a period for the lockdown which began on Saturday.

Kuwait’s National Petroleum Company (KNPC) said on Friday that work in its refineries is continuing according to the scheduled programme.

“Production and export operations were not affected by the government’s decision to suspend work in governmental institutions,” KNPC added in its statement, posted as a tweet.