MOH News

 COVID-19 Monitoring Committee: Over 570,000 Coronavirus Tests Conducted So Far
16 May 2020

​On Saturday morning, the COVID-19 Monitoring Committee held its 87th 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 Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, Ministry of Interior (MOI) spokesman. The MOH spokesman mentioned that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has jumped to 4,559,930 cases, of which 1,646,444 cases have recovered to date. As for the COVID-19 death toll, it has jumped to 308,038.

Besides, 2,840 new confirmed cases were reported in the Kingdom, distributed as follows: 839 in Riyadh, 450 in Jeddah, 366 in Makkah, 290 in Madinah, 180 in Dammam, 89 in Deriyah, 80 in Qatif, 78 in Al-Khobar, 75 in Al-Jubail, 57 in Taif, 50 in Yanbu, 49 in Hofuf, 38 in Tabuk, 24 in Buraidah, 20 in Hafr Al-Batin, 19 in Wadi Al-Dawaser, 15 in Al-Dhahran, 13 in Baqiq, 9 in Al-Nuairiyah, 8 in Hael, 7 in Al-Kharj, 6 in Al-Khafji, 5 in Safwi, 5 in Shaqraa, 5 in Al-Mithnab, 5 in Khulais, 4 in Al-Khorma, 4 in Al-Majmaah, 3 in Ras Tannourah, 3 in Al-Haditha Port, 3 in Jadidat Arar, 3 in Thadiq, 2 in Al-Bukairiyah, 2 in Al-Far’, 2 in Al-Qurai’, 2 in Al-Laith, 2 in Al-Qura, 2 in Hotat Bani Tamim, 2 in Al-Salil, and one case in Sakaka, Unaiza, Al-Mubriz, Al-Jafar, Khamis Misheit, Al-Badae’, Al-Rass, Uqlat Al-Soqour, Bisha, Sabt Al-Elaya, Umluj, Haql, Dubaa, Al-Wajh, Al-Qouz, Arar, Hazm Al-Jalamid, Al-Dalam, Layla, Darmaa, Al-Zulfi, Al-Quaieya, Rimah, and Al-Qurayyat.

This brings the total COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom to 52,016 cases, including 28,048 active cases, receiving the medical care they may need. Of these, there are 166 critical cases, whereas the health condition of the rest is stable. Of the 2,840 cases reported today, 34% are Saudi citizens, and 66% are non-Saudi residents. About 26% of the cases are females, and 74% are males. Only 4% of the reported cases are older persons, 9% are children, and 87% are adults. The number of new recoveries has amounted to 1,797, bringing the total recoveries to date to 23,666. And 10 new deaths were reported, bringing the total deaths to 302. The new deaths are non-Saudi residents in Makkah, aged 30 - 60 years old, with a mean age of 61. They mostly suffered from chronic diseases.

He added that 18,285 new COVID-19 tests were conducted across the Kingdom, bringing the total tests conducted so far to 570,360 tests. 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, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) spokesman, Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, drew attention to MOH spokesperson's statement about infection indicators of women and children as a result of family visits. Non-curfew hours aim to enable citizens to fulfill their necessary needs. They are not made for visits and gatherings that violate the regulations announced by MOI to limit the novel Coronavirus spread. Curfew regulations aim to impose social distancing and control gatherings which act as a direct cause of the outbreak of COVID-19. These regulations also ensure that the transmission of the virus is curbed and prevented to avoid losing control over it. Over the past two days, security forces have detected several gatherings by street vendors in many areas. These violations were identified and handled by the concerned authorities in cooperation with security agencies.

 Al-Shalhoub stressed that gatherings are prohibited in all their forms and places of occurrence. This includes gatherings of one or more families. Prohibited gatherings consist of 5 or more people who do not live in one residential area and are meeting in one or more specific spaces. These gatherings include family gatherings (more than one family meeting inside homes, rest houses, or farms). They also include non-family gatherings (inside homes, rest houses, farms, camps, chalets, or areas open to residents of the same neighborhood, etc). Other kinds of gatherings include social events (like weddings, funerals, parties, seminars, forums, etc). Prohibited gatherings also include labor gatherings (any group of workers inside houses or buildings that are under construction, rest houses, farms, or places other than their homes). 

There are also illegal gatherings inside shops that are permitted to stay open (like gatherings of shoppers or workers inside or outside shops, exceeding the numbers stipulated within the precautionary and preventive measures). Moreover, individuals who attended, called for, or caused the prohibited gathering will be subject to the penalties stipulated by MOI. The penalties for each kind of violation are announced on MOI’s official website and social media. Citizens can also learn about them from the Saudi Press Agency's (SPA) website. 
Al-Shalhoub called upon everyone to implement the precautionary and preventive measures at their homes, as well as at any time they leave their homes during non-curfew hours. He stressed that all citizens must stay home unless they need to go out for the utmost necessity.

He explained that both the security authorities and supporting military forces continue to impose all decisions and instructions related of the curfew. They also implement the needed procedures to control gatherings and apply the government’s directives against those who violate them in all regions, cities, and governorates of the Kingdom. All detected violations are handled under the legal measures applied. 

MOI has arrested violators of the Cyber Crime Law who announced their breaches of the curfew decision and the regulations to limit gatherings on social media. All proper legal measures were taken against them. MOI spokesman concluded by saying that citizens who encounter violations of any kind must report them to the number (999), available across KSA, or (911) in Makkah. They can also report violations through ‘Kollona Amn’ application.

Last Update : 21 May 2020 12:27 AM
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