Saudi Arabia to start next phase of coronavirus strategy as lockdown eased: Minister

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Saudi Arabia will begin a new phase of its strategy to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the Kingdom from May 28, Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah said on Monday.

The minister said the government laid out a clear vision for the next phase based on two indicators: The healthcare system’s capacity of accommodating critical cases and the policy of expanding testing and early detection.

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“All the early precautions taken gave us the opportunity to control the rate of coronavirus spread, prepare for it, raise awareness in the community, protect the healthcare system and to double the capacity of laboratories, critical care rooms, and ventilators during the previous period of time,” al-Rabiah said.

He credited the Kingdom’s preparation at the beginning of the pandemic and the public’s compliance with the government’s precautionary measures with the low coronavirus mortality in the country, which he stressed was one of the lowest in the world.

As for the Kingdom’s strategy to combat the coronavirus in the future, he said that the government bases its decisions on detailed health evaluations which enable it to adjust its policies and correct course as needed.

Al-Rabiah added that the government will start implementing the next phase of its strategy on Thursday and will keep updating its policies until the return to the new normal, which is based on social distancing.

He didn’t specify how the new strategy will differ from the measures the government has already implemented.

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