MOH News

MOH: Upward Trend in COVID-19 Cases Raises Concerns
11 February 2021

MOH spokesman, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali stated that an increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in several cities in the Kingdom is still observed, with only a few cities seeing stability in the number of cases. While the curve is reaching lower levels, there is still an increase in the number of cases. Instead of less than 100 cases a day, approximately 350-400 cases are recorded now; however, the upward trend and increase in the number of cases is raising concerns. This leaves everyone with a major responsibility towards their communities. Moreover, Al-Abdulaali called upon everyone not to be the cause of another outbreak of the virus, adding that there has been an increase in the number of critical cases recorded, up to more than 400.

Al-Abdulaali explained that a person who’s been in direct contact with an infected person is a person who’s been in direct contact with the virus. As a result, it is essential for everybody to take laboratory tests. 

According to Al-Abdulaali, 444,465 people have received the vaccine so far, and 364 new COVID-19 cases were reported. This brings the total number of positive cases in the Kingdom to 371,720, including 2,658 active cases still receiving medical care. Most of them are in reassuring health conditions, except for 437 critical cases.

This came during the press conference held today, Tuesday, with the participation of the spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), Abdul-Rahman Al-Hussein, and the official spokesman for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, Suleiman Al-Khamis. Al-Abdulaali mentioned that 274 COVID-19 cases have recovered, bringing the total recoveries in the Kingdom 362,642. He added that 5 new deaths were added, bringing the total COVID-19 deaths to 6,420. 
Furthermore, health services are still provided through all centers and facilities of MOH. Taakkad centers have conducted 7,106,300 swabs, and Tatamman clinics have provided their services to 1,928,421 outpatients. 

They have also provided health and medical consultations to 27,431,441 beneficiaries through the (937) Service Center.  Furthermore, the total number of lab analysis and examinations in the Kingdom reached 12,847,483. 

For his part, Abdul-Rahman Al-Hussein stressed that keeping markets and shops open depends on the extent to which people adhere to the rules and measures. The Minister of Commerce and the Minister of Municipal Rural Affairs and Housing met yesterday with 370 businessmen and owners of commercial establishments. During the meeting, the importance of adhering to the precautionary measures was emphasized as the private sector is deemed the first defense line to protect the society.

Violators would also be punished according to the law, especially that MOC signs 10 fines every hour. More than 5,700 fines were made by the Control Teams of MOC, through 130,000 control rounds in various regions over the past period. In addition, it was found that 3,200 establishments have not been measuring the body temperature of shoppers at entrances, and 2,000 establishments allowed individuals who were not wearing face masks to enter the premises. 400 establishments have not been providing disinfectants and sanitizers to shoppers.

Most of the violations were made in the three main cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. Noteworthy, MOC follows up all e-ads, and 17 advertisers on social media (Snapchat and Twitter) have recently been penalized. The total amount collected from recorded violations reached SAR 740,000. 
77 e-shops were also closed for breaching the E-commerce Law.

The official spokesman for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, Suleiman Al-Khamis stated that the ministry carefully follows up the application of precautionary measures inside mosques to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the directives of the wise leadership. The ministry seeks to make mosques free from any violations. 

Moreover, with careful follow-up of the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh, and the Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Youssef bin Muhammad bin Abdulaziz bin Saeed, as well as the follow-up of the heads of the Ministry’s subdivisions in the Kingdom’s regions, the Ministry seeks to fulfill its duty during this pandemic. Its main aim is to preserve the safety of all members of the society.

Furthermore, all imams and ‘muezzins’ (prayer callers) have been greatly committed to the directives of the leadership, and have shown a great sense of responsibility. Individuals who pray at mosques have been mostly adhering to these directives too, making mosques a safe environment with high awareness. However, when the concerned authorities observed an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and a lack of adherence to the precautionary measures inside and outside mosques, the Ministry called on imams and muezzins to continue to adhere to these measures inside mosques and urge praying individuals to do the same.

The most significant measures that have been directed to according to relevant authorities have included the following: mosques shall be opened only at the time of ‘adhan’ (prayer call) and shall be closed 10 minutes after the end of each prayer; the time between Adhan and Iqama shall be 10 minutes, except for the Fajr Prayer as it shall be extended to 20 minutes. As regards Al-Jumu’a (Friday) Prayer, mosques shall be opened half an hour before Adhan and be closed 15 minutes after the prayer; while the sermon shall not exceed 15 minutes. In addition, imams, preachers, muezzins, and worshipers shall wear face masks inside the mosque, and bring their personal prayer rugs. 

They shall also adhere to physical distancing between worshipers specified by MOH (one and half meters), and avoid crowd while entering and leaving the mosque. Moreover, mosques shall be ventilated, as windows and doors shall be opened at the time of prayer. Islamic scientific lessons, Da’wa programs, and lectures inside mosques shall be suspended, as all Da’wa activities shall be practiced remotely. 

Copies of the Qur’an shall be raised and kept in appropriate places as before. Sterilization of toilets and ablution places shall be intensified, all water coolers shall continue to be removed, and food and drinks shall not be allowed.         

He has added that field control committees have been monitoring and taking all legal measures to address all violations. The Ministry is confident that worshipers have awareness to abide by such beneficial instructions to everyone's interest to protect them from such virus. Therefore, and during last week, more than 13,216 monitoring tours were carried out in mosques, which resulted in detecting 261 violations.    

This week, from last Sunday to Wednesday, 10,750 inspection tours were carried out all over the Kingdom’s mosques, resulting in detecting 195 violations, that were dealt with in cooperation with the competent authorities. 

The Ministry seeks to reduce the crowding that occurs in mosques at Friday prayer times. Thus, 5,760 mosques have been added to support the Kingdom’s large mosques for Friday prayers during the pandemic. The Ministry is still opening additional mosques for Friday prayers, whenever crowding is observed in some mosques. In addition to that, the Ministry is following up the implementation of precautionary measures inside mosques, as part of its efforts to raise awareness in society via Friday sermons, lectures, and instructional speeches. 

This aims to clarify both the legal duty during the pandemic and the significance of adhering to the directives issued by competent authorities. Therefore, the Minister of Islamic Affairs has directed preachers to allocate seven Friday sermons all over the Kingdom to raise awareness about following preventive measures against the Corona pandemic. 

He also advised them to keep on raising awareness in their sermons during the pandemic. On the other hand, preachers have presented more than 58,367 Da’wa activities to remind and urge people to maintain and take the approved procedures. The Ministry also has sent informative awareness messages to non-Arab communities in the Kingdom, translated into their languages.      

Last Update : 15 February 2021 05:15 PM
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