Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia’s spike in daily toll due to field testing, says minister
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Tawfiq al-Rabiah said on Monday that the spike in the numbers of daily reported coronavirus cases in the past three day is due to cases being detected by the expanded field testing programs that are taking place across the country.
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Medical teams have been conducting mass coronavirus screenings in neighborhoods across the Kingdom since Friday to ensure that cases are detected early.
“Instead of waiting for someone to tell us that they have been infected and having to isolate all those who had direct contact with them, we go to the neighborhoods that we feel might have a lot of cases. We go to homes, we go to residential complexes so we can discover the cases before they come to us,” al-Rabiah said.
Saudi Arabia has reported 10,484 coronavirus cases and a total of 103 fatalities as of Monday.
We are conducting mass surveillance of COVID19, to proactively increase efforts to reach populations within neighborhoods and individuals in their homes. We’ve also expanded the drive-through testing, to identify cases early on, thereby minimizing the need for hospitalization. pic.twitter.com/xrwRz90htS— توفيق الربيعة (@tfrabiah) April 17, 2020
Al-Rabiah said on Monday that the number of infections is expected to keep rising in the upcoming days as health workers continue to conduct screenings, the minister added.
The minister had earlier this month said the number of cases in the Kingdom could reach between 10,000 and 20,000 within weeks, based on four different studies.