MOH News
COVID-19 Monitoring Committee Advises All to Stay Home
16 April 2020

​On Thursday morning, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 57th 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.


The meeting was followed by a joint press conference, the participants in which included Dr. Muhammad al-Abdulaali, MOH spokesman, and Mr. Abdurrahman Al-Hussein, Ministry of Commerce spokesman.

The MOH spokesman mentioned that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has amounted to more than 2 million cases, of which 520,000 cases have recovered to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 138,000 deaths.

 “Speaking of the Kingdom,” Al-Abdulaali said, “we have 518 new confirmed cases, to be added to the total number of cases.” He mentioned that the new cases were reported in the following cities: 195 in Jeddah, 91 in Madinah, 84 in Riyadh, 58 in Makkah, 38 in Dammam, 13 in Taif, 5 in Al-Qatif, 4 in Jubail, 3 in Ras Tanura, 3 in Yanbu, 3 in Jazan, 2 in Al-Qurayyat, 2 in Al-Laith,  2 in At Tuwal, 2 in Abha, 2 in Moyah, 2 in Al-Quway'iyah, 1 in Buraidah, 1 in Unaizah, 1 in Khobar, 1 in Dhahran, 1 in Khamis Mushhayt, 1 in Al-Hafouf, 1 in Al-Al-Jafr, 1 in Adham and 1 in Khulays. 

He mentioned that this brings the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom to 6,380 cases, including 5,307 active cases receiving medical care. Of these, there are 71 critical cases, whereas the health condition of the rest is reassuring. The number of new recoveries is 42, bringing the total recoveries to 990 cases. And the number of new deaths is 4, bringing the total deaths to 83 cases. The new deaths are all non-Saudis, 2 in Makkah, 1 in Madinah, and 1 in Jeddah, most of them with chronic diseases, and their ages between 35-83 years, he said.  

Recently, we have noticed an increase rate of infection among expat workers, due to the fact that their housing compounds lack the health requirement, with more than ten persons live in one room. He called on owners of companies to apply the health requirements in the workers housing, including social distancing and disinfecting their compounds at least twice a week. 
 
Al-Abdulaali called on all employers to use the self-assessment Mawid app for all workers. The app helps in early detection of infection and in limiting the spread of the virus. He underlined the importance of isolating the confirmed cases and those who have been in contact with them and calling 937.

He said that MOH has a platform that publishes awareness messages about COVID-19 in many languages, including Filipino, Indonesian, Indian, Turkish, Urdu and other languages.
 “I would like to grasp this opportunity and advise my fellow citizens to back MOH’s efforts and take part in raising the awareness of the residents for the safety of all”, he added. 
He reiterated that anyone who develops symptoms, or is willing to get medical advice, can use the self-assessment application ‘Mawid’, or call 937, which works around the clock.

For his part, Mr. Abdurrahman Al-Hussein, the Ministry of Commerce spokesman said that the ministry has recently carried out 73,000 inspection rounds across the Kingdom to ensure availability of all commodities, particularly during the month of Ramadan. In line with the precautionary measures, those under the age of 15 have been prohibited from entering stores and hypermarkets. 

On the availability of essential commodities such as rice and wheat, he pointed out that they are constantly arriving in markets, in addition to large quantities of citrus fruits like lemon and orange, from many countries such as South Africa. Regarding the increase in the consumption of sheep meat, he said the ministry has increased the import from around 29 countries.  
 “Since 2016 the Kingdom has become self-sufficient in table egg, but due to strong local demand large quantities have been imported from abroad’, he added.
 
He said the ministry monitors over 116 essential commodities electronically, such as: dairy, chicken, meat, rice, infant formula and others. The system also monitors commodity prices and quality in all regions. 

Regarding the increase in the prices of some commodities, he said the ministry investigates the increases and compares them with the international prices and regulatory measures will be taken against any violations. The increase in the prices of some commodities is linked to the prices of imported commodities, such as egg, soybean, corn and pesticides, he added.  
Al-Hussein said that the inspection teams have recently noticed that some individuals tried to hide some commodities like onions, tomatoes, potatoes and flour and sell them later at higher prices.  We have seized over 160 tons of vegetables and violators were punished and all seized quantities will be sold to consumers at a moderate price. 

He said that, during the last period, the ministry’s inspection teams have recorded 7,000 violations at some sales outlets, including 3,567 overpricing. During the same period the ministry provided more than 79,000 services to the private sector. Appreciating the role played by the customer he said, “A reward of not more than (25%) from the collected fine shall be granted to any person, who assists in exposing incidents of commercial fraud and 30% from commercial concealment fine”. 







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