Saudi Arabia steps up school coronavirus safeguards

If a child develops symptoms, parents should keep them out of school to avoid spreading the virus, the ministry advised. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 02 February 2020

Saudi Arabia steps up school coronavirus safeguards

  • There have been no reported cases in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Educational facilities in Saudi Arabia have updated emergency procedures to counter the threat of coronavirus.

Saudi Minister of Education, Hamad Al-Asheikh on Saturday instructed all education departments, universities and vocational training institutes to activate emergency plans as the number of people worldwide infected with the life-threatening virus continues to rise. Symptoms include high fever, shortness of breath, sore throat and headache. There have been no reported cases in the Kingdom. According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, coronavirus is transmitted through close contact with an infected person without protection. Intensive care and treatment is the best way to deal with infection, it said.

How to protect?
The ministry said that protection against the virus can be increased by avoiding contact with live or dead animals, or animal products, and avoiding contact with people with respiratory symptoms.
If a child develops symptoms, parents should keep them out of school to avoid spreading the virus, the ministry advised.

THELIST

Health tips to avoid coronavirus:

• Cover mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing.

• Keep hands clean by washing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

• Disinfect and clean commonly used surfaces.

• Avoid touching eyes and nose with unclean hands.

• Avoid people with symptoms such as coughing.

Migratory birds
Meanwhile, Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) stressed the need to take adequate precautions when dealing with resident and migratory animals that can carry fungal disease.
The ministry said that preliminary information indicated that the coronavirus spreading in China is an animal disease, with the main focus on a market containing live animals including bats, rodents and reptiles, in addition to poultry.
Tests carried out in China confirmed that the virus first passed from animals to humans in the market.
The SWA said that the Kingdom lies on the migration paths of many animals coming from areas where certain diseases can be transmitted to humans.
Animals could carry the virus without showing pathological symptoms in some cases, the authority said.
The ministry said that precautionary measures to avoid infection include wearing masks and gloves, washing or disinfecting hands after handling animals and birds or their meat, treating any animal that shows symptoms of sickness with caution, and avoiding migratory birds’ habitats. The ministry urged residents to report any mass deaths of animals on the toll-free number 8002470000.


Number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia could hit 200,000, says health minister

Updated 57 min 59 sec ago

Number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia could hit 200,000, says health minister

  • Minister added it was vital the public cooperated with the government’s instructions and precautionary measures

RIYADH: The number of COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia could reach up to 200,000 within a few weeks, according to the Kingdom’s health minister.

Citing four Saudi and international studies on Tuesday, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said the case figure is likely to see a constant increase rather than a decrease, Saudi Press Agency reported.

"Within the next few weeks, studies predict the number of infections will range from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000," Al-Rabiah said.

The minister added it was vital the public cooperated with the government’s instructions and precautionary measures to limit the number of infections.

“There is no doubt that our commitment to the instructions and procedures, in its entirety reduces the number of cases to the minimum, while non-compliance will lead to a huge increase in the number of cases,” he said.

“We stand today at a decisive moment as a society in raising our sense of responsibility and contributing together with determination to stop the spread of this pandemic,”

Many people were not taking the dangers of the pandemic seriously enough, according to the health minister, adding that the Kingdom had death with the crisis with full “transparency and clarity.”

The Saudi health ministry also announced on Tuesday that there were a total of 2,795 confirmed cases and the death toll from the virus in the Kingdom had reached 41.

A 24-hour curfew and lockdown has been imposed in the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Hofuf and in the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Last week, King Salman issued a decree which ordered treatment to be available for anyone in need of medical care, including people who have overstayed their visa in the Kingdom.