The importance of stepping up testing during the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 has become more apparent, as it allows nations to better gauge the magnitude of pandemic, to reliably determine how far the new coronavirus has spread within their borders and help better plan for extra demand on the healthcare sector. In line with this approach, Saudi Arabia has continued testing on a nationwide scale, completing a staggering 200,000 tests and counting. These tests were carried out at the Ministry of Health’s laboratories and other institutions across the country.
Speaking on the current efforts being undertaken by the ministry, its spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly invited private sector hospitals with the ability to conduct COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to join in the ministry’s testing efforts. At the start of the week, Saudi Arabia recorded an additional 1,088 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 9,362. Over 80 percent of those infected to date are expats, and 892 were discovered through mass testing carried out in dense, crowded areas.
“Within only two days, the number of cases discovered through mass testing increased from 50 percent of total cases to 82 percent, which indicates the importance of these activities in eliminating the disease spread and discovering cases at an early stage,” said Dr. Al-Aly.
As part of its efforts to provide the general public with better visibility on how the nation is faring with the novel coronavirus, Saudi Arabia has set up this website to provide key updates. In addition, the Saudi Public Security has created an online service that provides movement permits “within the region and between the country’s governorates, as well as moving between different neighborhoods within cities for people with exceptional circumstances.” Find below the latest numbers of active cases, critical cases, recoveries, and deaths dissiminated by the Ministry Of Health on April 21st.