JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has issued a reminder that people must act responsibly even though lockdown measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic have been eased, stressing that the disease still poses a significant risk to lives.
“The pandemic continues, and the virus is present. None of us wants to lose anyone, so do not (risk hurting) yourself or transmitting the virus to your parents and children because of recklessness and negligence,” said ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. “We are tasked with protecting precious lives, and we must fulfill our duty to adhere to healthy behaviors.”
Saudi authorities launched a detailed timetable on Monday for a three-stage easing of coronavirus restrictions, designed to introduce a return to normal life in the Kingdom in less than a month. But Al-Aly stressed that all areas of the Kingdom will be constantly monitored and regularly evaluated, and the Health Ministry may consider a return to stricter precautionary measures if necessary.
“As long as a pandemic exists, waves may occur at certain rates — it is expected to return in waves. We hope for low levels at acceptable rates. The risk is that the waves may be too high or difficult to be contained,” he said, adding that people must remember to follow social distancing guidelines, maintain personal hygiene and wear face masks as instructed. The Kingdom recorded 16 new COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday, raising the total to 441.
There were 1,644 new cases were reported in the Kingdom, meaning 80,185 people have now contracted the disease. There are 25,191 active cases.
The Health Ministry also announced that 3,531 more patients had recovered from coronavirus, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 54,553.
Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 770,696 tests for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that Umrah is still suspended at the moment, adding that the decision will reviewed regularly as the situation develops.