MOH News
COVID-19 Monitoring Committee Lauds the Public Interaction with Curfew
24 March 2020

​Under the chairmanship of the Health Minister, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 34th meeting today (Tuesday) afternoon, with the attendance of the committee members, who represent the relevant government sectors. During the meeting, all relevant COVID-19 updates and reports were reviewed. The committee discussed the epidemiological situation globally, as well as the cases reported locally. All the precautionary measures carried out at the points of entry into the Kingdom will continue in full, the committee stressed and will be further enhanced.​



Following the meeting, a press conference was held, including the spokesmen of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali, the Ministry of Interior, Lt. Colonel Talal Al-Shalhoub and the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Hussain. For his part, Al-Abdulaali said the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has amounted to 383,000 cases, of which 102,000 cases have been cured to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 16,600.

So far, said al-Abdulaali, the Kingdom has reported 205 new cases, of which 119 cases got infected while traveling and they are quarantined since their arrival to the Kingdom's ports of entry. Out of the remaining 86 cases, 42 got infected as a result of contact with previously confirmed cases and the rest are under epidemiological investigation.   

The new cases are distributed as follows: Jeddah 82, Riyadh 69, Baha 12, Bisha 8, Najran 8, Abha 6, Dammam 6, Al-Qatif 6, Jazan3, Khobar 2, Dhahran 2 and Madinah 1, bringing the accumulative number of COVID-19 infections in the Kingdom to 767 cases. They are receiving necessary medical care and are in stable condition, with the exception of 3 critical cases. An Afghani national, 51 years old, came to the emergency in critical condition and has died yesterday evening. 

He advised everyone to abide by the following safety tips, avoiding handshakes, washing hands with soap and water frequently, covering mouth while coughing or sneezing and get rid of used tissues properly, and staying at home, avoiding gathering and not going outside unless extremely necessary. It is also advised to isolating arrivals from outside the Kingdom for 14 days.

He called on them to use the COVID-19 symptoms self-assessment service via MOH's Mawid App. He stressed the importance of depending on the official sources for getting information, and not listening to rumors.  "Everyone who has coronavirus symptoms, or has an inquiry is welcomed to call our 937 Center, 24/7", he added.

For his part, the interior ministry spokesman, Lt. Colonel Al-Shalhoub said that citizens and residents are highly committed to the nation-wide curfew on its first day. This proves that they are well aware that the curfew is important in containing the spread of COVID-19. 

A few number of violations have been reported during the curfew hours and security men have taken the necessary actions as per the interior ministry's directives. He said the security authorities have spotted those behind the video clips that making little of and casting doubts over the imposed curfew, and imposed relevant penalties on them.  
 
He called on citizens and residents to avoid rumors and to depend on the official sources for getting information, noting that all government agencies have their own pages on social media. All official statements and reported cases are published on the Saudi Press Agency's (SPA) social media pages. The curfew, he added, is also implemented on the highways. He urged everyone to schedule their traveling according to the curfew hours.  

Then, the commerce ministry spokesman said that since the first day of the curfew the ministry's inspection teams are available at all sales outlets across the Kingdom, affirming that all goods are available abundantly. The teams, he added, ensure the continuity of all services provided to citizens, including hypermarkets, groceries, vegetable and fruit stores, poultry, fish and meat shops, and bakeries. These facilities provide their services during the curfew hours and during the period of allowing the roaming as well, through the e-applications.   

He said the ministry's inspection teams are available even during the curfew hours and today have paid 3,100 tours. The consumer call center receives all reports and complaints 24/7. The center received and handled 3,300 reports, half of them about the increase in the prices of vegetables, fruits, sanitizers, and masks. He stressed that the ministry will never tolerate or overlock price manipulation. The teams can easily discover the deliberate attempt to increase prices and are very strict in fighting such violations. 
 
He pointed out that the services to the business sector are available 24/7, with more than 3,600 phone services and 800 e-services. He said the basic facilities can provide their services during the curfew hours and 24/7, namely hypermarkets, groceries, vegetable and fruit stores, poultry, fish and meat shops and bakeries






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