MOH News

Precautionary Measures Will Continue in Full to Suppress the Pandemic, COVID-19 Monitoring Committee Stresses
11 May 2020

On Monday morning, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 82nd 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, Assistant Minister of Health and MOH spokesman, and Mr. Ali Al-Ghobaishi, spokesman of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC), and Mr. Tayseer Al-Mafraj, Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) spokesman. The MOH spokesman mentioned that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has jumped to 4,122,173 cases, of which 1,420,393 cases have recovered to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 283,001.

Besides, 1,966 new confirmed cases were reported in the Kingdom, distributed as follows: 520 in Riyadh, 343 in Makkah, 257 in Madinah, 236 in Jeddah, 137 in Hofuf, 95 in Dammam, 71 in Taif, 60 in Al-Khobar, 49 in Al-Jubail, 39 in Heddah, 25 in Al-Deriyah, 23 in Al-Qatif, 15 in Al-Majardah, 15 in Buraidah, 10 in Tabuk, 10 in Hael, 9 in Yanbu, 8 in Al-Dhahran, 7 in Baqiq, 5 in Khamis-Misheit, 5 in Safwi, 3 in Al-Nuairiyah, 2 in Unaiza, 2 in Bish, 2 in Theriban, 2 in Al-Kharj, and one case in Abha, Mahayel-Assir, Ras-Tannoura, Al-Mithnab, Al-Sahn, Al-Khorma, Qalwa, Sebia, Hafr Al-Batin, Al-Qunfudah, Najran, Dumat Al-Jandal, Al-Haditha Port, Jadidat-Arar, Al-Muzahimiyah, and Al-Zulfi. This brings the total COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom to 41,014 cases, including 28,022 active cases, receiving the medical care they may be in need of. Of these, there are 149 critical cases, whereas the health condition of the rest is stable.

Of the 1,966 cases reported today, 38% are Saudi citizens, and 62% are non-Saudi residents. About 22% of the cases are females, and 78% are males. Only 4% of the reported cases are older persons, 7% are children, and 89% are adults.

The number of new recoveries has amounted to 1,280, bringing the total recoveries to date to 12,737. And 9 new deaths were reported, bringing the total deaths to 255. The new deaths include an 86-year-old Saudi woman in Jeddah, a 34-year-old Saudi woman in Makkah, and 7 non-Saudi residents in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and Taif, aged 27 - 86 years old. They mostly suffered from chronic diseases.

Al-Abdulaali noted that, even though the Kingdom has reported 255 deaths, the COVID-19 mortality rate is 0.6% of the total cases. Thus, the Kingdom is among the countries who have managed to keep the mortality rate under control. He wished speedy recovery for all patients, and extended condolences to the families of those who passed away.

He reiterated the importance of staying at home, and adhering to the COVID-19 preventive measures. According to Dr. Al-Abdulaali, anyone who has symptoms or wants an assessment can use the self-assessment service on ‘Mawid’ application. Citizens who have questions can also inquire or seek advice by calling the 937 Call Center, available 24/7. The call center is now made closer to everyone than ever. Citizens can also benefit from its interactive services through WhatsApp application on the number 920005937. They can have access to health information and updates on COVID-19. The service also provides users with information on blood donation and primary health care centers (PHCs). Besides, it enables them to reserve appointments.   

For his part, Ali Al-Ghobaishi, spokesman of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC), said that 350,000 students are expected to take their tests remotely. This mainly aims to preserve their health and avoid exposing them to COVID-19 infections. The remote achievement test will be administered in Shawwal. It is one of the tests that over 362 test centers offered across the kingdom. It is equal in strength and stability to traditional tests, according to the ETEC standards.

To prepare for remote tests, ETEC has launched its information registration service remotely, which is necessary for students to take their tests. Before the novel Coronavirus spread, students had to go to test centers to obtain this service. However, for their safety, it will be provided to them at their homes. ETEC has also provided free educational materials to allow students to prepare for achievement test questions and learn about their concepts and style. The government has borne the additional costs of preparing for remote tests. Students will not bear any additional fees for taking the test at home.

ETEC spokesman said that the remote testing platform uses the synchronization feature. It helps students continue their tests even if their internet connection was interrupted, which leaves their answers unaffected. The platform also depends on artificial intelligence technologies with over 40 sensitive standards to identify violations. ETEC spokesman expressed his confidence in students. He added that the free training period before the actual test would help them become more familiar with the platform and its tools. 

The information on the readiness of remote testing for 235,000 students has been documented and updated over the past two days. Students who do not have computers can perform the test at the facilities equipped with the support of MOH where its requirements and protocols are strictly applied. Al-Ghobaishi stressed that all students are entitled to fair admission chances with a credible, transparent, and unified standard nationwide.

Tayseer Al-Mafraj, the spokesman of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), said that there 60 local sterilizer factories across the Kingdom. Their weekly production capacity is 3,545,820 liters. The Kingdom also has 8 mask factories with a weekly production capacity of 3806000 masks. The number of medical clothing factories is 3 with a weekly production capacity of 94,500 pieces. 

He highlighted that ‘Tameny’ application aims to enhance public health. It provides a service to allow users to search for prices of medicines and their approved alternatives. Furthermore, it allows them to directly report products and provides them with accurate and easy information on all products supervised by SFDA. The application also lets users receive official alerts and warnings issued by SFDA. It also facilitates searching for products either by name or barcode. 

Al-Mafraj pointed out that during the time of the novel Coronavirus crisis, SFDA has conducted 32289 inspection tours and detected 2430 violations. It also seized 29 million medicine packages and devices, in addition to 8,353,831 kg of food. Moreover, SFDA’s call centers have received over 103,606 reports and inquiries. The number of cleared consignments reached 54,602, while cleared products reached 243,082.

Last Update : 18 May 2020 01:37 PM
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