Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas has put in place special working arrangements for its thousands of employees as a precautionary measure to minimise the risk of the deadly Covid-19 virus.

With immediate effect, Petronas is “strongly encouraging” employees who can work from home, to do so where possible. No timeframe was given for this measure.

“For employees who are required to be physically present in the office or at our operations, Petronas is taking the necessary steps to ensure their health and safety while at the workplace,” the company said on Sunday without giving details.

Petronas said the measures were being implemented to reduce the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus to its employees as well as helping social distancing efforts in the wider community.

The company added that while these measures are in place, it was “committed to ensure that there would be minimal disruptions to our business and service delivery to our customers and partners”.

Malaysia now has the most number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 — 428 as of noon pn Sunday — among the 10-member Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) bloc.

Asean member Singapore now requires anyone entering from the other nine Asean countries to undergo a 14-day stay at home or in a hotel.

“The health and safety of our employees, customers and partners remain our utmost priority. As the current situation is rapidly evolving, we will continue to monitor any developments closely and strengthen our precautionary and preventive measures as required,” Petronas said on Sunday.

“We urge all employees, customers and partners to remain vigilant in practicing personal hygiene and to adhere to directives given by health authorities.”