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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has mobilized all its capabilities and human resources through its mayoralties and municipalities to confront the new coronavirus and thus to ensure safety and protection of citizens and expatriates.
The ministry, in coordination with the relevant authorities, is following up the latest developments and taking precautions through multipronged administrative, health, environmental and awareness measures. The mayoralties and municipalities in all regions and governorates of the Kingdom have swung into action to enhance community awareness, beef up health measures and explain the procedures to be taken in cases of suspicious cases in accordance with the Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines. The ministry has made obligatory for all workers of food outlets to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, and adhere to the MoH health instructions.
The ministry has decided to close all markets, malls and commercial complexes, in addition to closing barbershops and women’s beauty parlors, while restaurants and beverage providers were notified to limit the service to takeaway requests only. Smoking shisha and hookah were banned in all restaurants and cafes. The ministry has banned gatherings in gardens, beaches, desert parks, camps, and places of recreation as well as commercial and recreational activities in cities and villages. Auctions and second hand market activities were suspended and their gathering sites were temporarily closed, the ministry said adding that these decisions have had an overall positive impact. It also stressed the need to respond to health authorities’ instructions to tackle the spread of respiratory infections especially in crowded and closed environment. The ministry has also notified all pharmacies and provision stores, including supermarkets and hypermarkets, to provide with services round-the-clock.
The municipalities have made available several online services to their beneficiaries that could obtain from their homes such as the “Baladi” portal for commercial licenses, allotment of land in residential townships, inquiring about transactions, amendments in title deeds, registration of title deed for approved plan, and information about corona affected areas so that the beneficiaries can complete their transactions from their homes without personally approaching the municipality.
The mayoralties and municipalities in all regions and governorates have intensified cleaning and sterilization of main streets and public places with spraying a mixture of sterile materials and detergents on public park seating and disinfection of floors and surfaces as part of enhanced preventive and precautionary measures.
The municipalities have also strengthened supervision of workers in food outlets and public health stores so as to ensure compliance with the necessary instructions and requirements and to follow healthy food practices. The ministry has also made it mandatory for loading and unloading workers to wear gloves and masks, and to all workers to comply with personal hygiene and washing hands at regular intervals.
Municipalities have intensified cleaning work with the disposal of garbage containers and sterilizing them, in addition to spraying pesticides on waste containers and their collection sites. Moreover, cleaning workers have been instructed to wear uniforms and maintain personal hygiene with wearing gloves and special masks.
The municipalities have made it mandatory for all food outlets and public health stores to follow preventive measures and to stop those who showed symptoms of disease from work in order to protect others. Apart from constantly examining their workers, the municipalities are also carrying out inspection raids on all shops and supermarkets at regular intervals, the ministry said in the statement.
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