JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has begun using electronic bracelets with contact-tracing and social-distancing alerts to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Health Ministry confirmed on Thursday.
“It’s not just to monitor and follow up on infected individuals, but to provide further services to reassure citizens and residents,” said the ministry’s spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly.
The number of people getting polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests is also on the rise, with 14,980 tests carried out in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of COVID-19 tests to 633,064.
The Kingdom recorded 2,532 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday — 39 percent of them Saudis — bringing the total number of cases to 65,077.
Of the new cases, 714 were recorded in Riyadh, 390 in Jeddah, 299 in Makkah, 193 in Madinah.
There are currently 28,686 active cases, with 281 in critical condition.
Al-Abd Al-Aly said 2,562 more patients have recovered from the disease, taking the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 36,040.
The ministry reported 12 new deaths, raising the toll to 351. Of the latest fatalities, one was Saudi and 11 were expats of several nationalities, aged 45-87. Most of them suffered from chronic diseases.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources announced that it has supported six local factories that help produce 5 million face masks every week.
In addition, 60 new factories were dedicated to producing 3.6 million hand sanitizers per week.
Regarding the virus outbreak in the Dammam Second Industrial City, the spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, Jarah Al-Jarah, said: “From day one, the ministry formed a team working 24/7 to contain the situation and the spread.”
He added: “In collaboration with the Health Ministry, a field hospital with 200 beds is now operational in the area, along with a 10,000-square-meter temporary housing for employees.”
Currently there are 163,894 volunteers registered at the ministry’s health volunteering platform established at the beginning of the pandemic; 72,000 of the registered volunteers are ready to work when needed after completing the compulsory training program while more than 19,000 are active volunteers.
Volunteering included working in hospitals and the ministry’s quarantine areas, offering medical consultations, participating in screening and epidemiological investigations and working at emergency and ambulance units, in addition to many other public health services.