MOH News
Everybody Should Take Responsibility in the Fight Against COVID-19, Says Minister of Health
16 March 2020

​​​HE Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfik bin Fawzan al-Rabiah, said that no country is immune to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19); and the Kingdom, being a part of the world, is no exception. He commended the colossal contribution of the Saudi leaders, and the preventive and proactive measures they have taken with a view to preventing the spread of the virus, and hence protecting the Saudi citizens and residents.​

In a press conference held on Monday on the latest COVID-19 updates, Dr. Al-Rabiah stressed that the Kingdom has extensive expertise and impressive experiences in combating pandemics, accumulated over the successive Hajj and Umrah seasons. Medical care is provided by hospitals and healthcare centers around the clock, he said. And all health facilities are ready to handle any coronavirus-related developments.

The minister underscored the consolidation and orchestration of the efforts made by all the government agencies involved against the COVID-19 outbreak. There are specialized centers, staffed by proficient health professionals who are qualified for dealing with such situations, he added. Those centers include Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine, National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya), and National Health Emergency Operations Center. Besides, all health facilities are prepared for handling any potential developments of the COVID-19 situation.

Saudi society is known for its high level of awareness, said Dr. Al-Rabiah. The Saudi people realize that they have a role to play, and a responsibility to shoulder in the fight against Coronavirus. In so doing, they complement the unstinting efforts exerted on this front. He stressed the importance of the 937 Service Center at this juncture. It is fully prepared for receiving and responding to reports, as well as providing 24/7 Coronavirus-related medical advice. Meanwhile, he stressed the importance of commitment to transparency and clarity, as well as keeping everyone updated on the local and global COVID-19 situation.

“We have top-notch medical laboratories,” Dr. Al-Rabiah said. “They are equipped with state-of-the-art medical testing devices and technologies.” He went on to say that a rigorous health-awareness campaign had been launched. “I hope that everyone can make the utmost of it,” he added. “And I call on everybody to follow its health tips and guidelines.”

Moving on to the latest COVID-19 updates, the minister mentioned that the number of confirmed cases worldwide had risen to more than 170,000, of which 77,000 cases had been cured. A few days earlier, he revealed, the WHO had declared COVID-19 a global “pandemic”, indicating that almost all countries (149 countries) are affected by the outbreak.

Speaking of the health situation in the Kingdom, Dr. Al-Rabiah made clear that, from the beginning, Saudi government opted to stick to the tightest of precautions, stemming from its keen interest in the safety of its citizens and residents. And then the preventive steps followed in concordance with the developments on the ground. The health situation in the Kingdom is reassuring, the minister said. And all the cases tested positive so far are either foreigners, or those in contact with them.

Dr. Al-Rabiah made clear that the coming period would be extremely critical in the fight against the pandemic. After the guidance of Allah, he said, we rely for curbing the spread of the disease on the awareness and sense of responsibility shown by individuals. Those coming from abroad have a weighty responsibility to shoulder towards their families and community. They should remain in self-isolation, for the safety and wellbeing of everyone. Societal awareness at this juncture is of the essence, he added.

According to the minister, 118 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far, of which 6 cases were cured. In addition, MOH imposed quarantine on 8,000 individuals. And more than 700,000 have been screened for Coronavirus at the points of entry. The 937 Service Center has received more than 170,000 calls over COVID-19.









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