“This will allow us to discover as many cases as possible to save lives before it’s too late,” he added. “We’ve taken this step out of our trust in our health care soldiers, who make the country’s health system strong.”
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He thanked the Kingdom’s health workers for their efforts and dedication in these difficult times.
The ministry was conducting 5,000-6,000 tests daily until a month ago. That number has increased to 16,000-18,000. The total number of polymerase chain reaction tests conducted so far is 586,405.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said: “Our mass testing, as well as field investigation and monitoring, show us that social gatherings continue to contribute to the increase in infection cases.”
The Interior Ministry announced on Sunday new fines for violating social distancing and attending gatherings.
First-time violators will pay SR10,000 ($2,666). Facilitators of illegal gatherings, attendees and those sending invites will pay SR5,000. These fines will double when violations occur for a second time.
The Interior Ministry said if the facility where the gathering took place belongs to the private sector, it will be closed for three months, and six months if the offense is repeated.
Expats violating these regulations will be permanently expelled from the country after serving or paying the penalty imposed.
Meanwhile, 2,736 new COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia were announced on Sunday — 22 percent are female, 9 percent are children and 40 percent are Saudis.
Of the new cases, 557 were recorded in Makkah, 488 in Riyadh, 392 in Madinah, 357 in Jeddah and 286 in Dammam.
The total number of cases recorded is 54,752. There are currently 28,718 active cases, with 202 in critical condition.
The Health Ministry announced that 2,056 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 25,722.
The ministry also reported 10 new deaths of expats in Makkah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Al-Kharj and Al-Niriyah, raising the toll to 312.
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