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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Education is contributing to the Health Ministry’s efforts to combat the coronavirus with six university hospitals equipped to be on the frontline.
As the number of confirmed cases rose to 1,203, university hospitals prepared more than 3,000 beds ready for any emergency and 20 universities provided more than 77 of their buildings to be used for medical quarantine.
“Since the 1st of February, the Education Minister Hamad Al-Asheikh has directed all universities to update their emergency plans and provide their hospitals with necessary equipment,” Tariq Al-Ahmari, Saudi Arabia’s spokesperson for higher education, told a press conference on Saturday.
Al-Ahmadi also highlighted the success of the virtual education experience at Saudi universities since education went completely virtual on March 8 as a precautionary measure to protect students and staff.
The Health Ministry has confirmed 99 new coronavirus cases in the Kingdom, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 1,203 with 37 recovered and four deaths. The death of the latest victim, a Saudi male citizen in Riyadh who had been suffering from chronic health issues prior to contracting the disease, took the toll to four.
The ministry has performed 51,000 advanced laboratory tests so far. “This makes Saudi Arabia one of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of making the highest number of tests per population ratio,” said Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly.
“Currently, the numbers are in a fluctuating state, globally,” Al-Aly said. “The curve may go toward a steady decline and this pandemic passes quietly, or a rapid and dangerous rise. It is our responsibility as a society to control the curve.”
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