A Saudi Arabian oil company named Saudi Aramco has come under widespread criticism for making one of its migrant workers act as a human hand sanitizer amid the novel coronavirus scare. In the pictures that went viral on social media, the worker can be seen wearing a mask and a box that dispenses hand sanitizer.
Several Twitter users slammed the oil giant for being "racist" and "classist" towards the worker as he appeared to be walking around and approaching staff members to distribute sanitizer.
Many also highlighted that this is not an appropriate way to raise awareness about Covid-19 as it risks the health of the worker.
"The company immediately stopped this act and took strict measures to prevent it from happening again," the statement read.
In the last few years, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly faced backlash for its unfair treatment of foreign workers. There have been several reports of workers facing physical and verbal abuse at the hands of their employers in the Gulf region.
Official statement of the oil company
The official handle of Saudi Aramco tweeted a statement and said, "A reference to social media photos of a colleague, wearing a kind of sterilization package in one of her facilities, would like #أرامكو Saudi Arabia to express its strong dissatisfaction with this abusive behaviour in which I want to emphasise the importance of sterilization, without the approval of the company concerned."
"The company immediately stopped this act and took drastic measures to prevent it from happening again. The company emphasizes its firm against compromising its values based on respect and adherence to ethics and conduct."
Coronavirus outbreak is showing no signs of slowing down
The fatal virus, so far, has infected more than 115000 people worldwide and claimed the lives of over 4200. Having originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year, the novel coronavirus has been rapidly spreading to other parts of the world.
In India, the number of Covid-19 cases has risen to 60 in a matter of just a few days. The Union Health Ministry is keeping a constant check on the developments related to the virus and is taking proactive measures accordingly.