MOH News
MOH: Active COVID-19 Cases Continue to Decline, Preventive Measures Bear Fruit
06 September 2020

The Assistant Minister of Health and MOH spokesman, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali, revealed that 756 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Kingdom, bringing the total cases to 320,688. These include 19,870 active cases, still receiving medical care. Their health status is mostly stable, with the exception of 1,457 critical cases. 


Al-Abdulaali made this statement during the COVID-19 brief held on Sunday, which also hosted the Ministry of Education (MOE) spokeswoman, Ms. Ebtessam Al-Shahri, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) spokesman, Mr. Ali al-Mutairi, and the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) spokesman, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Hussein. Al-Abdulaali pointed out that 895 COVID-19 patients have recovered, bringing the total recoveries in the Kingdom to 296,737. 

He added that 32 new deaths were reported, bringing the total deaths to 4,081. Of the new cases, he pointed out, 43% are females, and 57% are males. Moreover, 10% are children, 85% are adults, and 5% are older adults. And 41,665 new COVID-19 lab tests have been conducted throughout the Kingdom, bringing the total tests to 5,406,136 tests.

The MOH spokesman explained that over the past three months, there has been a decrease in the number of cases. Less than 1,000 cases were recorded for 10 consecutive days, making up 80%. Over 85% of the cases recorded are among adults, especially young people. The difference ratio between males and females is small. All indicators are promising by far.

The number of critical cases also continues to decrease. Furthermore, the health measures taken over the past few months proved to be fruitful. Similarly, the number of active cases continues to decline, with further decreases expected in the coming period. Dr. Al-Abdulaali stressed that the measures, preparations, and interventions have borne fruit at every stage. Moreover, continuous follow-up of the situation takes place. “The decline in COVID-19 cases is the fruit of everyone’s hard work,” Al-Abdulaali added. 

For his part, the CITC spokesman, Mr. Ali al-Mutairi, said that the digital infrastructure has proven effective during the peak of COVID-19 a few months ago. The learning process has been taking place remotely. Government agencies and the business sector have been conducting their work remotely as well. All health services were provided digitally with high efficiency.  

He added, “We have extended the period during which additional frequencies were available by 50% in the 700MHz and 800MHz bands. The aim was to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of the network’s performance during that critical period”. Additionally, through the initiative of ‘Attaa’ (Giving) and over 19,000 technical volunteers working under its umbrella, CITC targeted increasing digital knowledge about educational platforms and ways of interacting with this experience.

Moreover, virtual lectures and workshops were held to activate the role of families in the educational process. To date, these programs have reached over 5.3 million beneficiaries. 

The MOC spokesman, Abdul-Rahman Al-Hussein, for his part, stated that with the significance of the current stage and the importance of supporting students to complete their educational journey, the Ministries of Commerce, Education, and Communications have launched ‘Attaa’ digital initiative ‘Kollona Attaa’ to make the process of remote education successful. 
This took place with distinguished partnerships with the private sector, including telecommunication companies and 30 major commercial establishments. 

‘Attaa’ initiative has provided 50% discounts on electronic devices and call packages for students. These discounts included over 1.4 million laptops, tablets, desktop computers, scanners, printers, and other devices. Noteworthy, all devices purchased through this initiative or other similar initiatives come with at least a 2-year warranty. Coordination with major suppliers and outlets take place to provide multiple options of computers and tablets, at affordable prices for everyone. 

In addition, as part of the joint efforts to protect consumers, the Riyadh Municipality shut down 60 commercial establishments in the computer market yesterday. Moreover, earlier, MOC has shut down and fined 20 commercial establishments in the same market. The aim of these measures is to protect consumers from fraud and manipulation. Moreover, MOC’s control rounds continue in all regions of the Kingdom to ensure that no violations are being made and prevent monopolistic practices and price manipulations.
  
Al-Hussein stressed that continuous coordination takes place with the General Authority for Competition to impose statutory penalties on violators. If it was proven that an establishment has tampered with a commodity or product or deluded consumers into thinking it is going through a crisis, the fine imposed on it can go up to 10% of its annual sales, SAR 10 million, or 3 times the profits made from the price manipulation. 

For her part, the MOE spokeswoman, Ms. Ebtessam Al-Shahri, said that teacher Muhammed Al-Daghriri, is one of the distinguished models in the field of education. He traveled long distances to provide assistance to his students and train them to enter and use ‘Madrasati’ platform. “Muhammad Al-Daghriri is one of 525,000 teachers we would like to thank for their support over the past months, and during the preparation week. They have helped their students enter the platform and use it,” Al-Shahri added. 

She also thanked parents for their cooperation with schools to stay updated on their children's educational journey. Parents have played a great role during the past stage, and the school is their main ‘technical support center’. It provides them with assistance, whether in terms of entering the platform, learning to browse it, or explore the other options available to follow up on their children's situation before they enter the platform.  

On a different note, ‘Madrasati’ platform is facing many major challenges today. However, this platform is deemed a whole new system, and challenges represent an opportunity for continuous improvement. Moreover, MOE is committed to providing other alternatives. It has provided several options to allow its students in all cities and governorates to continue their remote education. This includes ‘Ain’ channels. This group of channels is available for students who aren’t able to access ‘Madrasati’ platform. Also, if students want to interact with their teachers, “Microsoft Team” platform allows teachers and students to communicate via virtual classes.   

MOE spokeswoman stressed the importance of setting Ain satellite channels for students at home on the frequency 12,437 vertical. Ain channels can benefit students whether or not ‘Madrasati’ platform, the Internet, or a helping device was available. These channels can be of help when students face a problem accessing the Internet. Additionally, it is important for teachers to be familiar with Microsoft Team entry guide. This will enable them to give standard classes, upload clips, or interact with students outside ‘Madrasati’. Parents must also read this guide. They can access the Microsoft Team platform, and follow up with their children's teachers if they can’t access ‘Madrasati’. 

During the past months, MOE was able to overcome the technical challenges in ‘Madrasati’ platform. “Other challenges will also be addressed. But it’s important to note that these challenges are constantly diminishing. This stage that we are in is certainly an exceptional one,” Al-Shahri said. She expressed her wish for everyone to understand more about entering one platform and spending long hours browsing it, as well as learning about the nature of the data circulated on it, including videos, pictures, and more. ‘Madrasati’ will always be a project for the entire Kingdom, and everyone is partners in this, ready to overcome challenges hand in hand.  







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