MOH News

COVID-19 Monitoring Committee Holds Its 35th Meeting
25 March 2020

​On Wednesday afternoon, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 35th meeting. Chaired by the Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfik bin Fawzan al-Rabiah, the meeting was attended by the committee members, who represent the relevant government agencies. During the meeting, all relevant COVID-19 updates and reports were reviewed. The committee has discussed the global epidemiological situation, as well as the cases reported locally and their health condition. All precautionary measures carried out at the points of entry into the Kingdom will continue in full, the Committee stressed, and will be further tightened. The Committee commended the citizens’ compliance with the curfew, and called on them to stay home, and refrain from going unless necessary (during the hours when going out is permissible).

The meeting was followed by a joint press conference, the participants in which included Dr. Muhammad al-Abdulaali, MOH spokesman, and Lt. Col. Talal al-Shalhoub, Ministry of Interior spokesman. The MOH spokesman mentioned that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has amounted 424,000 cases, of which 110,000 cases have recovered to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 19,000.

“133 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Kingdom,” said Al-Abdulaali. “These include 18 cases coming from abroad, and are currently quarantined. While the remaining 115 cases have been in contact with previously reported cases.” Al-Abdulaali pointed out that these new cases were recorded in the following cities: 83 in Riyadh, 13 in Makkah, 10 in Jeddah, 6 in Madinah, 6 in Al-Qatif, 5 in Al-Khobar, 4 in Najran, 2 in Abha, 2 in Arar, 1 in Dhahran, and 1 in Al-Jubail.

This brings the total cases tested positive for COVID-19 in the Kingdom up to 900 cases, all of whom receive medical care and their condition are stable; with the exception of four critical cases, and one death—a 46-year-old resident in Makkah. This is added to a previous death, bringing the total deaths to 2. Whereas an additional case has recovered, bringing the total recovered cases to 29.

Al-Abdulaali stressed that everyone should stick to the preventive health precautions, for the safety of their health and their community. Such precautions include avoiding hand-shaking, washing hands with water and soap over and over again, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, disposing napkins, staying home as much as possible, keeping away from gatherings, and never going out unless a strong need arises. As for those coming from abroad, they must self-isolate themselves for 14 days.

He reiterated the importance of self-assessment against the COVID-19 symptoms, making use of the ‘Mawid’ service, provided by MOH for all citizens and residents. He went on to warn against rumors, and encourage everybody to get information from the authentic sources, most importantly the MOH announcements. “Anyone who experiences symptoms, or has a question can call the 937 Service Center which works around the clock,” said the MOH spokesman. 

For his part, the MOI spokesman, Lt. Col. Al-Shalhoub, made clear that the security men, along with the supporting forces, namely the National Guard and the National Security forces, have embarked on their daily role of enforcing the curfew throughout the Kingdom’s regions, cities, towns and villages, all through the curfew hours till it’s lifted at 06:00am. He commended the compliance shown by citizens and resident with the curfew obligations, which helps the security men, and reduces the chances of spread of the virus.

Speaking of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ endorsement to further tighten the measures meant to control the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Al-Shalhoub pointed out that, in Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah, the curfew shall be put into effect, in collaboration with the military forces, as of 03:00pm everyday, except Thursday, till 06:00am. “More details about boundaries of those three cities shall be provided in a special conference to be held today at 07:00pm,” he said.

“Infringements of the curfew shall be charged against the violator rather than the vehicle,” Al-Shalhoub added. He revealed that the security men apply the curfew order in real time, as part of a rigorous security plan, in collaboration with the military forces. So, whenever a person walks or drives during the curfew hours, he shall be stopped by the security men, who shall check his status, and take the statutory action. His national ID will show if he belongs to one of the categories exempted from the curfew. “This is why everyone who belongs to one of those exempted categories must carry the national ID, as well as a certificate issued by the employer,” he stressed.

Al-Shalhoub confirmed that penalties shall be applied against violators. “But they are rather minimal,” he said. “They shall be declared in detail in due course.” He mentioned that whoever breaks the curfew shall be penalized SAR 10,000 for the first time, and that the penalty shall be doubled if the violation is repeated. Anyone who breaks the curfew three times shall be liable to no more than 20 days in prison. “This applies to both citizens and residents,” he stressed.

Al-Shalhoub touched upon the statement made yesterday by the Public Prosecution which threatened to punish anyone who undermines the curfew. “Anyone who produces, publishes or circulate materials that undermine the curfew shall be punishable by law,” he warned. “We all work for the good of this country. And the measures are liable to be further tightened, in line with the assessment of the situation, as well as the updates provided by the MOH and the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee.”

The MOI spokesman concluded his statement by emphasizing that the Kingdom has gone through numerous crises, during which citizens remained its focal point. “The cooperation between the government agencies on the one hand, and the citizens and residents, on the other hand, will help limit movement, and put the curfew into effect,” Al-Shalhoub said. “And the cooperation between the health and security authorities will—Allah willing!—ensure safety for everyone.”

Last Update : 27 March 2020 02:32 AM
Reading times :