Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah confirmed that increasing the number of infections with the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the coming period primarily depends on the cooperation of all and their commitment to guidelines and instructions, warning that some of the society’s members did not adhere to the slogan “We are all responsible”.
Dr Al-Rabiah affirmed that some people did not seriously deal with this epidemic, adding that they didn’t adhere to the warnings banning contacting and gatherings.
“I will start my speech with what the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques said: ‘the next stage will be more difficult at the global level’. As a part of this world which exerts unprecedented efforts and measures to combat the Coronavirus pandemic and in spite of the COVID-19 rapid developments and spread, the leadership of our country was a global pioneer in taking strict precautionary measures, including suspension of Umrah and prayers in mosques; suspension of domestic and international flights; suspension of attendance to the workplaces, and suspension of the study, before many countries to start taking any preventive measures. These measures aimed to decline contacting with others with 90%. With the utmost transparency and clarity, the state also dealt with this crisis and provided the latest developments to the citizen,” Al-Rabiah said.
“Let me speak to you frankly, even if it hurts. Unfortunately, some members of society did not apply the slogan” We are all responsible”, and did not seriously deal with this epidemic. They also didn’t adhere to the warnings banning contacting and gatherings as you have seen such practices and behaviors in the past days. These practices indicate that we need to take other measures to safeguard us and protect the society from these people. We witness today a decisive moment in assuming responsibility as a society. We must seriously and decisively stop the spread of this pandemic. Otherwise, the expectations in the coming days point out that the numbers of infections are not decreasing, but are constantly increasing,” he said.
He pointed out that increasing numbers of infections in the coming period primarily depends on your cooperation and commitment to the guidelines and instructions.
“Emanating from the principle of transparency, I share with you the outcomes of four different studies conducted by Saudi and international experts specializing in the field of epidemics. These studies estimated that the number of infections during the next few weeks will be between 10,000 infections at the minimum level, up to 200,000 infections at the highest level. There is no doubt that our strict and full commitment to instructions and measures will decline the number of infections to the minimum. Lack of commitment, an enormous increase in the number of infections will be jumped,” he said.
He said that the studies have indicated that the 24-hout traffic is still very high as it is now 46% of the total traffic on the normal days.
“In spite of the financial needs to combat this novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the government provides all financial support submitted by the Ministry of Health. After allocating SR 8 billion in the beginning of the COVID-19 spread, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques approved SR7 billion, bringing the total financial support to SR15 billion. This royal approval aims to raise the health sector’s readiness to secure medicines, operate additional beds, provide medical equipment and health supplies, such as ventilators and exploratory testing devices and samples, as well as secure the necessary medical and technical cadres from home and abroad. In addition, the Ministry of Health has submitted requests with amount of SR32 billion to the end of the fiscal year. This support has also been approved and allocated,” Al-Rabiah said.
“Although the government has provided unlimited support to confront this novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), there are two main problems. First: Lack of sufficient supplies in the global markets of medical equipment and supplies for our future needs if the number of infections are enormously increased. Second: Negligence of some society’s members to abide by the precautionary measures may rise infections – as studies have confirmed – to levels that the health sector cannot meet,” Dr. Al-Rabiah affirmed.
“Our current plan aims to exert all efforts that contribute to curb the high number of infections in the Kingdom. So, the Ministry seeks to provide the largest possible number of ventilators and other necessary medical equipment and supplies. As we can decline the number of infections for the longest possible period of time, we can take advantage of the useful clinical-proven medication or vaccines for treating or protecting citizens and residents,” the Minister of Health said.
He added that the Ministry of Health is participating with the ministries and other concerned agencies to raise awareness and take all necessary precautionary measures, but the high number of infected people is the responsibility of every citizen and resident who did not abide by these measures.
“In every sense of the word, the whole world is facing a pandemic. I hope that all citizens and residents help us to implement the required measures accurately with the utmost responsibility. So, we do not reach a very advanced stage in terms of increasing the number of infections as happened in a number of countries. Limiting and controlling the number of infections within the current numbers for a period of four months to a year will ensure our readiness to approach global standards in order to deal with this pandemic in the best way,” he added.
“Presided over by the HRH Crown Prince, the committee discussed aspects related to the COVID-19 economic implications. In this regard, a number of decisions were approved. The Minister of Economy and Planning will proved details later,” Al-Rabiah concluded.