MOH News
COVID-19 Follow-up Committee Urges Everyone to Adhere to MOH’s Guidelines in Ramadan
22 April 2020

​On Wednesday morning, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 63rd 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. Meanwhile, 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. Majed Al- Disaimani, the Public Prosecution spokesman. The MOH spokesman mentioned that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has jumped to 2,500,000 cases, of which 692,000 cases have recovered to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 178,000.

As for the epidemiological situation in the Kingdom, he mentioned that 1,141 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported, including 854 cases detected through active surveillance, accounting for 75% of the cases. Those newly reported cases were detected in several KSA cities, as follows: 315 cases in Makkah, 240 in Hofuf, 164 in Riyadh, 137 in Madinah, 114 in Jeddah, 61 in Dammam, 35 in Tabuk, 26 in Dhahran, 18 in Bisha, 14 in Taif, 3 in Al-Kharj, 2 in Hail, Sebia, and Al-Tuwal, and 1 case in Yanbu, Al-Qurayyat, Al-Wajh, Sharurah, Al-Mithnab, Al-Jafr, Aqlet Al-Soqour and Al-Huda. This brings the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom to 12,772 cases. Of these, 10,846 cases are active, receiving medical care: there are 82 critical cases, while the health condition of the rest is stable. He reiterated that 854 cases, accounting for 75% of the cases, have been detected by means of active surveillance.

The number of new recoveries has amounted to 172, bringing the total recoveries to date to 1,812. And 5 new deaths were reported, bringing the total deaths to 114. The new deaths are non-Saudi residents in Makkah, aged 50 - 76 years old, with a mean age of 61. They mostly suffered from chronic diseases.

He stressed the importance of adhering to the instructions provided by MOH. This is especially necessary during the blessed month of Ramadan. Some of the most important instructions to follow include social distancing, avoiding shaking hands, regularly cleansing them, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and safely disposing of used tissues. Other instructions include exercising, drinking enough liquids (especially water on Iftar), and maintaining a balanced diet to strengthen the body's immunity in the face of microbes and viruses like COVID-19. “We highly encourage people with chronic diseases to adhere to these tips,” he noted. 

He pointed out that the spread of the virus has not been proven to increase during Ramadan, as the risks remain the same. However, people with chronic diseases must be more cautious and consult a specialist about their cases through the call center (937). They must also take their medications regularly. He called upon everyone who shows symptoms or wants to use the self-assessment service to inquire or consult about their case to call the (937), which is available 24/7. He also wished everyone blessed fasting.

For his part, Dr. Majed Al-Disaimani, the official spokesman of the public prosecution, said that a crisis and risk management team was formed. This step came in implementation of the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and HRH the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. The team is headed by the undersecretary of the Public Prosecution who laid out the following strategies and measures to confront any new developments in the novel Coronavirus crisis:

First: Internal labor environment measures: All branches of the Public Prosecution were ordered to apply maximum preventive measures. Attendance to workstations was also suspended. Virtual work environments were activated, and remote services were provided to all public prosecution beneficiaries through online electronic channels. Additionally, the remote visual investigation system was also applied to convicts at their place of imprisonment. They are arrested with safe and coded technologies to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

Second: Enhancing community awareness among individuals: This would happen by urging everyone to obtain information from official sources and ignore rumors which might affect the public order. The Prosecutorial Surveillance Center monitors everything on social media 24/7. It detects any activity or behavior that violates the regulations and instructions, especially regarding the novel Coronavirus.

Third: providing criminal protection for food security: This would happen by warning against criminal practices such as commercial fraud, violating the Commercial Data Law, and the Misprision Law, in addition to Trademark Violation Law. Other criminal practices include spreading false rumors about the scarcity of some foodstuffs and food products. The penalties of such violations are made clear to citizens.

Fourth: providing criminal protection for health security: This would happen through educating individuals arriving in KSA about the importance of disclosing the countries they traveled from. 

Furthermore, they must reveal if they have been dealing with a sick individual or someone who has been showing symptoms. Legal action will be taken towards anyone who violates the precautionary and preventive measures. Furthermore, intentional transmission of COVID-19 would be deemed as sinful behavior, and its punishment would vary based on the nature of the crime and its harm to individuals and society. Its punishment might even be death (retribution, banditry punishment, or discretionary punishment) depending on the case. Also, photographing and publishing a curfew violation leaves an individual legally accountable.

Fifth: Imprisonment and Detention centers: The Imprisonment and Detention Center Supervision Department in the Public Prosecution Office directly cooperates with prison departments and the relevant authorities to coordinate efforts. They work to implement the maximum preventive measures to combat COVID-19 in prisons and detention centers. This mainly aims to ensure the safety and health of prisoners and detainees.

Dr. Al-Disaimani highlighted some statistics of the Public Prosecution during this crisis, including: 13676 incoming cases at the branches and departments of the Public Prosecution during the period extending from 15 March to 20 April 2020. The number of completed cases was 10590. Moreover, the number of procedures carried out by members of the Public Prosecution was 312257. The number of cases related to systemic violations was 746. The number of cases of filming and publishing curfew violations amounted to 485. Information crime cases associated with the violation of preventive measures amounted to 508. Rumors and public opinion cases reached 41.

Al-Disaimani pointed out that 275 complaints of detainees and prisoners were addressed through ‘Absher’ platform. Additionally, 2119 services were remotely provided to beneficiaries. Public Prosecution announces these statistics to highlight its role in strengthening the criminal protection of the measures taken during this crisis. Additionally, anyone who violates these measures will be met with strict enforcement of the law. He stressed that all sectors receive tremendous support from the government. “Many sectors are working together with great cooperation, harmony, and commitment to the preventive measures to overcome this crisis,” he added.






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