MOH News
COVID-19 Monitoring Committee: Shopping Malls Reopen with Strict Safety Measures
29 April 2020

​On Wednesday morning, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 70th 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. Meanwhile, the Committee commended the citizens’ compliance with the curfew, and called on them to stay home, and refrain from going unless absolutely necessary.

The meeting was followed by a joint press conference, the participants in which included Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali, MOH spokesman, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Hussein, Ministry of Commerce (MOC) spokesman, and Mr. Mazin Al-Hammad, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources spokesman. 
The MOH spokesman mentioned that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has jumped to 3,100,000 cases, of which 935,000 cases have recovered to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 217,000.

As for the epidemiological situation in the Kingdom, he mentioned that 1,325 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in the following cities: 356 in Makkah, 225 in Madinah, 224 in Jeddah, 203 in Riyadh, 74 in Dammam, 42 in Al-Hafouf, 40 in Jazan, 37 in Buraidah, 36 in Khobar, 23 in Jubail, 7 in Taif, 6 in Khamis Mushayt, 4 in Al-Jafr, Al-Qatif, Onaizah, Al-Mandaq, Tabuk and Al-Muzahmiya, 3 in Bish, Al-Qurayat, Al-Kharj and Dariya, 2 in Al- Miznab, Yanbu, Khulays, Hafr Al-Batin and Al-Qunfudah, 1 case in Al-Qurei, Thuraiban, Al-Mikhwa, Sajer, Sharoura and Adderah. 

This brings the total COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom to 21,402 cases, including 18,292 active cases, receiving the medical care and their health condition is stable. Of these, there are 125 critical cases, and the number of the new recoveries has amounted to 169, bringing the total recoveries to 2,953.  They are all non-Saudi in Makkah, Dammam, Khobar and Jubail, aged 25 - 52 years old. They mostly suffered from chronic diseases.

Of the 1,325 confirmed cases today, 15% were Saudis and 85% non-Saudi, he said. He added that 962 cases were detected through the active surveillance, accounting for 73% of the total confirmed cases.

He provided a number of tips on food delivery and takeaway, including: following the preventive measures for receiving orders including sanitization, cleanness and avoiding cash payment.

Pregnant women infected with COVID-19 are receiving high quality medical care, and many of them have given birth successfully, he said, pointing out that MOH’s platforms provide many tips for pregnant women.

The MOH spokesman 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.
On the partial opening of the shopping malls, which started today (Wednesday), the MOC spokesman, Abdul-Rahman Al-Hussein reiterated the importance of abiding by the precautionary measures to prevent any possible transmission of infection.

He said the following people are advised to refrain from shopping and stay home to maintain their health, namely: youngsters under 15 years, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses such as heart, lung and kidney diseases, and immunity-related conditions. 

He pointed out to the precautionary measures to be observed during shopping, most notably: allowing no more than one shopper per 10 meters, closing measurement room, checking shoppers and workers’ temperatures, installing social distancing floor signs, closing rest areas, and disabling touch screens. He stressed the importance of wearing cloth mask, accompanying one person only, no group shopping, prohibiting tests of perfumes and cosmetic products as well as abiding by social distancing.

He said that the retail stores and shopping malls will reopen from 05:09 pm and may continue work through their online delivery apps during the curfew hours.

Al-Hussein affirmed that the ministry is continuing to monitor the services provided to consumers across Kingdom, indicating that Ramadan supplies are available in large quantities, with good quality and stable prices. Ever since the curfew was imposed – on March 23rd, 2020 -, the ministry has conducted more than 115,000 inspection tours Kingdom wide, and recorded 9,950 violations, of which 47% accounting for price hikes, and violators were fined immediately. During the past period, the ministry has provided over 120 online services to the private sector companies, of which 12,000 were reported since the beginning of Ramadan, most of them about shipping delays. 

“We are currently working with the ministry of communications and shipping companies to find a quick solutions very soon”, Al-Hussein added. 

For his part, Mazen Al-Hammad, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources spokesperson, said that from today the curfew has been lifted for the industrial sector without restrictions on time. He highlighted the unlimited support the industrial sector is receiving from our wise leadership.

During the 24-hour curfew, all strategic industries were exempted from the lockdown, such as: the basic industries in the field gas, petrochemicals, mining industries, foods, pharmaceuticals, sanitizers, medical devices, and other related vital sectors, he said.

 “We have more than 3,000 factories to provide food and pharmaceutical products, including 2,500 medical items and over two million liters of sanitizers", Al-Hammad said.  

He went on saying that the ministry has provided 27 initiatives to support the private sector, including financial support, SR 685 million exemption package, rescheduling of debts, postponement of some government dues in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. 

He mentioned that the kingdom has 50 medical factories, as well as 7 ventilator factories, indicating that the industrial strategy treat food and drug as a high priority. “We have a total of 9,000 factories, around 3,000 of which have been working at full production capacity to provide food and pharmaceutical products” he added.






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