MOH News
COVID-19 Monitoring Committee Lauds Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Order to Treat all Coronavirus Patients
31 March 2020

On Tuesday afternoon, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 41st meeting. Chaired by the Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfiq 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 committee also hailed the free treatment of COVID-19 patients ordered by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.


The meeting was followed by a joint press conference, the participants in which included Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali, MOH spokesman, Brigadier General Sami Al-Shewairekh, the Public Security spokesman and Mr. Abdulrahman Al Hussain, the Ministry of Commerce spokesman. The MOH spokesman mentioned that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has jumped to 801,000 cases, of which 166,276 cases have recovered to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 37,840.

“110 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Kingdom,” said Al-Abdulaali. “These include 2 cases coming from abroad, and are currently quarantined. While the remaining 108 cases have been in contact with previously reported cases.” This brings the total cases tested positive for COVID-19 in the Kingdom up to 1536 cases, of whom the health condition is mostly stable and receiving required medical care. And—thanks be to Allah— 50 additional cases were recovered, bringing the total recoveries thus far up to 165. He said that there were 31 critical cases, and 2 deaths for residents in Madinah bringing the total deaths to 10 cases. 

The MOH spokesman reiterated the importance of self-assessment against the COVID-19 symptoms, making use of the ‘Mawid’ service. “Anyone who experiences symptoms, or has a question can call the 937 Service Center which works around the clock,” he said.

For his part, Brigadier General Sami Al-Shewairekh, the Public Security spokesman commended the cooperation of all strata of society in implementing the official instructions to fight COVID-19, stressing that adherence to such instructions will help us to emerge stronger from this crisis, Allah willing. "The public security coordinates with all police forces across the Kingdom", he added.

He pointed out to a number of observations received by the public security regarding the mechanism of transporting patients to hospital in cases that the Red Crescent transportation is not required. The Red Crescent evaluates the case and decides whether to take the patient in an ambulance or advises him to arrange his own transportation to hospital and get a permission from the public security. 

During the past four days we received 11,488 notifications and upon coordination between the public security and red crescent, the red crescent agreed to handle 6,771 cases and the rest were advised to arrange their own transportation during the hours when going out is permissible.

He warned everyone not to treat beggars at traffic lights or public places, and not giving them money in order to prevent the spread of the virus and traffic obstruction. He stressed that the relevant ministries and charities are doing their work well and violators of the employment and labor law are dealt with accordingly.

He mentioned that through the public security special email, announced 2 days ago, we receive emergency requests for movement from a place to another. Over the past two days we have received more than 20,000 request of which 150 have been approved and the remaining were advised to postpone their movement until a later date. He urged everyone to bear the responsibility in this exceptional circumstances witnessed in the Kingdom and to work together to overcome this stage. Some countries have managed to contain the disease by preventing close contacts and implementing social isolation perfectly.

The ministry of commerce spokesman, Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Hussain praised the Saudi consumers for their high degree of commitment, which became a success story and an example to follow by others countries.

Al-Hussain said that his ministry, during one week, has conducted 22,873 inspection tours across the Kingdom and during the past three days the inspection teams have detected an increase in the price of some citrus fruits such as lemon and orange. “There are some factors behind the price hiking in many world countries including the Kingdom. These factors include the fact that they are seasonal fruits and the prevailing global crisis, which has a clear impact on the import, export, transport and insurance of goods”, the commerce ministry spokesman added. We are monitoring the increase in the price of lemon and orange, he said, adding that we have spotted a number of dealers who involved in price manipulation and exploitation of the crises for their own advantage and over the past three days we have reported 1,361 violations against manipulators of fruit prices. He mentioned that large quantities of imported orange have been distributed to local markets. The imported fruits will have a positive impact in lowering prices.   

He described price manipulation penalties as strict. If it is proven that a firm has tampered with a commodity, it will face a fine of up to SR 10 million, or 10% of annual sales or three time the profits earned. The enforcement of penalties will be in cooperation between the ministry and the General Authority for Competition.

He said the best time for shopping is between 06:00 to 11:00 am and advised shoppers to use online applications. There are no more complaints about scarcity of masks and sanitizers as the number of factories increased from 13 to 35, he added.  






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