An image went viral online showThe image of the Asian worker carrying a large sanitiser dispenser triggered accusations of racism. Image Credit: Twitter

Cairo: Saudi state oil giant Aramco has voiced “extreme dismay” at the use of a foreign employee as a mobile sanitiser against the new coronavirus, saying the act was taken without its approval.

An image went viral online showing an Asian worker carrying a large sanitiser dispenser at an unspecified facility of Aramco, triggering accusations of racism.

“Saudi Aramco would like to express its extreme dismay at this offensive behaviour that was aimed at emphasising the importance of sterilisation without taking the approval of the agency concerned in the company,” the firm said on its Twitter account.

In response, the company said it had taken unspecified “strict” measures to ensure the act will not recur. “The company confirms its strictness against infringing its values based on respect and adherence to moral conduct and good treatment,” it added.

Saudi Arabia has taken a string of precautionary steps against the spread of the coronavirus, including a temporary ban on the Umrah trips, closure of educational institutions and suspension of flights with a number of virus-hit countries.