Precautionary measures to continue

Friday, March 6, 2020

Precautions to prevent infection by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are continuing and the measures being implemented at the ports or in the health facilities are being strengthened further and followed up regularly.

The necessary measures are taken depending on the outcomes of the daily situation and monitoring of the global, regional and daily risks, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the official spokesman of the Ministry of Health Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali as saying during the daily press briefing on Thursday on the latest developments in the coronavirus infections in the Kingdom.

Dr. Al-Abdulaali said that the ministry are continuing effective health monitoring of all infected cases, already announced, or any new suspicious cases. He added, whenever any case is proved positive, it will be announced and the person will be provided healthcare.

Dr. Al-Abdulaali stressed the necessity for all who return to the Kingdom to declare where they were coming from on arrival at the border crossing point, seaport or airport. This is especially important for those who have visited countries or areas having coronavirus hot spots where the virus has spread.

Al-Abdulaali also called on citizens and expatriates who have passed through the Kingdom’s ports but have not declared visiting countries or areas where coronavirus has spread, to declare this as soon as possible by contacting the health authorities via the toll-free number 937 so as to protect themselves, their families, those surrounding them and society in general.

He drew attention to the fact that the source of infection was from Iran in all the five coronavirus-infected cases announced in the Kingdom. This proves that the sources of infection and those arriving from these infected hot spots are at high risk.

Therefore, it is very important for arriving passengers to declare where they were coming from at the entry ports in order to protect the society from the spread of coronavirus.

Dr. Al-Abdulaali said that the National Center for Preventing and Combating Disease and the rest of the authorities are continuing work in assessing risks. In addition, the Global Center for Mass Medicine is continuing its work on mass medicine, gatherings and risk levels for these masses and lays down the controls, he said.

He added that a highly effective scientific mechanism is in place and on which they are relying to assess the risks to masses and gatherings while framing an adequate and quick response in tandem with the risk levels before implementing the necessary precautions and preventive measures based on the scientific evidence collected.

Meanwhile, according to a statement by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GACA) , Saudi Arabia on Friday has called on citizens to declare visits to Iran in the past 14 days, as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

“If you were in Iran in the past 14 days, take the initiative and declare it; protect your health and the health of your family,” GACA said in a tweet.

“Citizens, who voluntary report their travel to Iran within a period of 48 hours following this statement will not be subjected to the Travel Documents Law and its related regulations,” a Saudi official source said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Saudi authorities have reopened the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah, after they were closed for sterilization to halt the spread of the new coronavirus, Al-Ekhbariya TV reported earlier in the day.

The Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said on Thursday that the Mataf, (area for circumambulation around the Holy Kaaba) and Masa (area for sa’i between Safa and Marwah) at the Grand Mosque in Makkah would remain closed during the period of suspension of Umrah.

Saudi Arabia on Thursday denounced Iran’s irresponsible action of granting Saudi citizens entry to its territories without stamping their passports, especially at a time where there is an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran.