DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States asked its military in Saudi Arabia to avoid crowded venues including malls and cinemas as coronavirus was reported spreading in neighboring countries, according to a document from the U.S. embassy seen by Reuters on Friday.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the only countries around the Gulf not to have reported coronavirus infections so far.

Iran, on the other side of the Gulf, is the Middle Eastern country most affected by the disease with 34 dead so far.

Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Alex Richardson