MOH News
COVID-19 Monitoring Committee Discusses Results of the Curfew

​On Friday afternoon, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 37th 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 Ms. Ebtessam Al-Shahri, the Ministry of Education (MOE) spokeswoman. The MOH spokesman mentioned that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has jumped to 533,000 cases, of which 123,000 cases have recovered to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 24,000.

 “92 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Kingdom,” said Al-Abdulaali. “These include 10 cases coming from abroad and are currently quarantined. While the remaining 82 cases have been in contact with previously reported cases.” He mentioned that the new cases were recorded in the following cities: 46 in Riyadh, 19 in Madinah, 10 in Al-Qatif, 7 in Jeddah, 4 in Dammam, 2 in Dhahran, 2 in Buraydah, 1 in Hofuf, and 1 in Khobar. This brings the total cases tested positive for COVID-19 in the Kingdom up to 1104 cases, of whom the health condition is mostly stable; with the exception of 6 critical cases receiving intensive care. And—thanks be to Allah—no new deaths have been recorded. Meanwhile, 2 additional cases were recovered, bringing the total recoveries thus far up to 35.

Al-Abdulaali stressed that everyone should stick to the preventive health precautions recommended by MOH, 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.

The MOH spokesman 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 her part, the MOE spokeswoman, Ms. Al-Shahri, extended earnest thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman, for providing all the capabilities necessary for continuing study at schools and universities.
“Our leaders haven’t kept our sons and daughters away from education, even for one day,” she said. “On the contrary, early on, they had given their orders to the Minister of Education, Dr. Hamad bin Muhammad Al Al-Sheikh, to embark on preparing for facing this crisis.” She added that, in no more than 10 days, MOE has managed to shift 6 million students from class-based learning to remote learning, making use of several tools and channels, all of which are readily available.

MOE, according to Al-Shahri, has offered each student five options to choose from, each according to their capabilities and circumstances. Those options involve 20 educational channels, including ‘Ein Channel’ which airs programs targeting all students. And there is ‘Ein’ YouTube channel as well, to be added to ‘Al-Mostakbal Channel’, ‘Ein Al-Ethraeyyah’ and the Unified Education System, all of which are available for the students of all educational stages.

“Ever since the study was suspended,” she said, “the traffic on those platforms has jumped to unprecedented scores: a total of 37 million views on ‘Ein’ channels. That is to be added to the recurring access by users to the MOE platforms.”

“At this stage,” Al-Shahri revealed, “the remote study strategy will remain in place, and will continue as per a preset timetable, including the current academic calendar and exam schedules.” She made clear that MOE attaches great importance to remote learning, and has alternative plans ready for execution when the need arises. They are well documented and proportionate with the potential scenarios and developments. “They will be put into effect as appropriate,” she said.

The MOE spokeswoman pointed out that, as part of those strategies, the exams can be conducted remotely as per the current academic calendar, or as per any academic calendar to be updated in the future. Those strategies may also dictate that the exams be conducted remotely for some educational stages, and in-person for other stages. “The Ministry’s biggest concern is to keep the educational process going till the end of the semester, and to enable students to acquire all the essential skills of all subjects,” she said.

 Al-Shahri praised the impressive role played by teachers, supervisors, headmasters as well as parents and students. She thanked them for showing commitment to remote learning, following the MOE platforms, and being self-motivated to learn, rather than urged by the Ministry.

She announced that MOE would shortly launch a voluntary online platform, to be available for students, teachers and all the MOE staff. It is intended to allow these groups to participate in voluntary activities meant to support the government agencies, and other relevant authorities, in their fight against the pandemic, especially on the healthcare and logistic fronts.

Calling on everybody to get information from authoritative sources, Al-Shahri said: “Should any emerging development take place, MOE would certainly announce it through its official platforms. So please take a look at those platforms every now and then to keep updated, and avoid rumors.”

The MOE spokeswoman hoped that the educational process continues till the end of this semester. “Till now,” she said, “we are working in accordance with the preset academic calendar; which means that the exams will be conducted as scheduled, on the 10th of Ramadan. Should any change emerge, it will be announced immediately.”







Last Update : 01 April 2020 08:44 AM
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