Eight factories in Saudi Arabia have been producing 3.7 million face masks weekly to help protect citizens and residents from the coronavirus, the Saudi Food & Drug Authority said on Wednesday.
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Concerns about a worldwide shortage of sanitizers, face masks, and ventilators – all essential in the fight against COVID-19 – has pushed the Kingdom to increase its efforts to locally produce these items.
A total of 49 factories in Saudi Arabia produce more than 1.5 million liters of sanitizers, the authority’s spokesperson said, adding that the government agency supports the local drug industry.
Saudi Arabia had stopped exporting all medical devices since the pandemic broke out in the country to ensure hospitals in the Kingdom were equipped to handle a large number of patients.
Saudi Arabia has reported 5,862 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 79 virus-related deaths.
Earlier this month, several media outlets reported that Saudi Arabia was on the verge of locally producing 1,000 ventilators per week.
“The government of Saudi Arabia has done a lot and has given priority to citizens and their safety and it is the duty of the private sector to contribute and provide its capabilities to support the state and protect citizens and the country,” Abdulrahman al-Ubaid, the head of the National Industrial Committee within the Council of Saudi Chambers, told al-Riyadh newspapers.
Al Arabiya’s Ismaeel Naar contributed to this report.