Saudi residents were on Wednesday urged to use a government app, launched to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in order to gain access to key public places.
Authorities say that by downloading the Ministry of Health-approved Tawakkalna app to mobile phones people will be able to prove their health status when entering government facilities, private sector establishments, and public areas such as shops and markets.
The Saudi ministries of commerce and justice along with the Kingdom’s Ports Authority, and Real Estate Development Fund, are among bodies that have already announced that entry to their buildings will now be conditional on having the app.
The move followed an announcement by the ministry on the concerning rise in numbers on Sunday. There had been a fourfold rise on last month in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom.
Residents in the Eastern Province have been using the Tawakkalna app to gain entry to offices and commercial premises in the region since Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) continued to carry out inspection tours in Riyadh, Baha, and other cities throughout the country to ensure COVID-19 health and safety rules were being adhered to. Officials reported a number of violations and closed some outlets for breaching regulations.
Regional and central government officials have recently stepped up appeals for residents to stick to precautionary measures after the Ministry of Health warned tough new restrictions could be brought in if the public continued to ignore anti-virus precautions.
Mosque imams have also been requested to use part of their sermons on Friday to help raise awareness about the dangers of spreading COVID-19.
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday recorded 306 new cases of COVID-19 taking the total number of reported infections in the country to 368,945. The Riyadh region had the most confirmed cases at 124, while Eastern and Makkah provinces reported 58 and 53 cases, respectively.
There were 2,159 active cases in the Kingdom, of which 379 patients were in critical or serious condition.
Another 290 patients were added to the COVID-19 recovery total of 360,400 maintaining the country’s recovery rate of 97.6 percent.
Three people were reported as having died due to COVID-19-related complications, upping the death toll to 6,386.