MOH News

MOH: Increase Seen in COVID-19 Cases, Vaccinating Older People A Top Priority
11 April 2021

MOH spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abdulaali stated that the Kingdom is seeing an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19. This indicates that people's wrong practices are greatly contributing to the transmission of the virus, causing an increase in critical cases. MOH is monitoring changes and movements of people in the Kingdom as a significant rise is seen compared to last year, which means that the number of gatherings is noticeably increasing. 

 Dr. Al-Abdulaali expressed his astonishment with regard to the increasing numbers, wondering where that would lead everybody. He also expressed his concerns over these actions holding back all the efforts made, calling on everyone to adhere to the precautionary and preventive measures to challenge the pandemic. 

The holy month of Ramadan requires more carefulness. Eating at restaurants would require wearing face masks and leaving safe distances, and praying at mosques would require everyone to bring their own personal prayer rugs and leaving a safe distance from others. 

The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses given at various vaccine centers in the Kingdom is estimated to be 6,217,487. More than 590 centers have provided the vaccine. Furthermore, more dates will be opened for individuals to receive the vaccine over the coming period. Moreover, individuals over the age of 75 will be considered a top priority, without the need to book an appointment. 

Al-Abdulaali revealed that 799 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Kingdom, bringing the total cases to 398435. These include 8360 active cases, still receiving medical care. Their health status is mostly stable, with the exception of 915 critical cases.

Dr. Al-Abdulaali made this statement in the COVID-19 briefing held on Sunday, which also hosted Tariq Al-Ahmadi, Saudi Arabia's spokesperson for higher education, as well as Hani bin Hosni Haider, spokesman of the General Presidency of Mecca's Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. Dr. Al-Abdulaali mentioned that 548 COVID-19 recoveries were reported, bringing the total number of recoveries to 383,321 to date. 7 new mortalities were also reported, bringing the total number of COVID-19 mortalities in the Kingdom to 6,754. He restated that health services are still provided by all MOH centers and facilities. ‘Taakkad’ centers have conducted 8,482,464 swabs, and ‘Tetamman’ clinics have served 2,301,679 outpatients.  They have also provided health and medical consultations to 28,949,823 outpatients through the 937 Service Center. The total number of COVID-19 lab tests is estimated to be 15,805,136.

“We are grateful for the success of the remote educational process in the Kingdom, despite the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic. This reflects the support of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and HRH the Crown Prince for public and university education, as well as technical training. It also highlights their concern for the health and safety of all students and education staffs in general,” Al-Ahmadi said. 

He expressed his pride in the remarkable success of (Madrasati) platform as a unique Saudi achievement and global competitor. It is one of the four top remote learning platforms in the world, in terms of the number of users, volume of services, and advantages.

He pointed out that the number of tests made for students until the 11th week of this semester has exceeded 500 million. The number of simultaneous virtual classes up to the 11th week reached 58 million. 

The numbers achieved by university platforms as a weekly average for remote education showed that there are more than 11,012,734 files reviewed, more than 3370990 electronic assessments, and over 4,348,321 discussion boards created on university platforms.

 Moreover, HE, the Minister of Education, has made a decision to create a timetable to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to education staff in public and university education, as well as the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) before the start of the next academic year 1443 AH. This decision was made out of the keenness on maintaining the health and safety of employees of the educational sector.

The Ministry plans to make attendance required in all stages the next semester, unless changes related to the pandemic came up. As for university exams, they will be held remotely unless exceptions were made by the concerned scientific councils and committees which were formed since the start of the pandemic. All precautionary measures will be applied, and student attendance will be decided in ways that ensure only small groups of students are present at different times. This is in accordance with the guideline issued by the Ministry of Education for universities and colleges.

For his part, Hani bin Hosni Haider, spokesman of the General Presidency of Mecca's Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah reviewed the preparations to receive pilgrims and praying individuals during the holy month of Ramadan, as well as the mechanism for their entry into the two holy mosques, and the precautionary measures taken in cooperation with the relevant authorities. These procedures aim to limit the spread of COVID-19 and enrich their experiences during the month. 

Moreover, to enter the Two Holy Mosques, pilgrims must be immunized of one of the three categories. In addition, performing Umrah, prayers, or visiting the Prophet's Mosque requires having a permit issued from (Tawakkalna) and (Eatmarna) applications, and adhering to the specified time. 

Furthermore, to enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Holy Mosque), 5 gathering points will be specified for pilgrims. They are Gaza, Shubaikah, Ajyad, Kuday and Bab Ali. Additionally, 14 were designated in the circumambulation area (Mataf) for pilgrims. The three closest ones will be dedicated to the elderly and people with disabilities. The entire mataf lot will be dedicted to only pilgrims, with the option of reserving electric vehicles using "Tannaqol" application. 

Noteworthy, the Holy Mosque is entirely cleaned and sterilized 10 times a day using 3000 liters of environment-friendly sterilizers and disinfectants. Additionally, 400,000 sterile Zamzam water bottles are distributed on praying individuals and those having Iftar. Iftar tables and the Sunnah of i'tikaaf have been suspended as meals are distributed individually on people. Worshippers are also allowed to carry some dates for personal use.

Furthermore, the Presidency has prepared a plan for the precautionary measures, in cooperation with MOH; as workers serving pilgrims, worshipers, and visitors at the Two Holy Mosques were all vaccinated.

All entrances to the Two Holy Mosques are equipped with high-resolution cameras to handle suspicious COVID-19 cases. The presidency has also prepared more than 300 classes to be given by a group of scholars from the Council of Senior Scholars, Imams, Preachers and Teachers of the Two Holy Mosques. These classes will be broadcast around the clock through (Manar Al-Haramain) platform in five languages with live translation. 

Last Update : 13 April 2021 05:08 AM
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