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By KSA Ministry of Health | 13 July 2020
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), over two million COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Tests have been performed in the Kingdom since the first case was reported.
KSA is one of the first countries in the world to secure laboratory testing for the diagnosis of novel Coronavirus. It has fully prepared and equipped the National Laboratory at the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya), making it the only reference laboratory to test for COVID-19. It has also recently launched several specialized labs and units across the Kingdom. They have contributed to bringing about a qualitative leap and an improvement in services, by providing test results in record time. They have also further reinforced prevention against COVID-19.
MOH continues to intensify conducting lab tests through many effective measures that have contributed to the early detection of infected cases. This has enabled MOH to take rapid steps to deal with the virus spread. These steps included implementing extensive testing through active field surveillance by MOH’s field teams. Expanding COVID-19 tests played an active role in detecting and recording more cases, as well as better containing the situation.
The Ministry has also implemented the second phase of the extensive testing to assess the general prevalence of the novel Coronavirus in the Kingdom. This came as a continuation of the precautionary and preventive measures it took to prevent the spread of the virus and preserve the health and safety of citizens and residents. This phase included selecting samples from individuals who underwent the COVID-19 test through ‘Mawid’ application to have themselves tested at health centers. It has also launched ‘Tatamman’ Clinics initiative which included 237 clinics. MOH had prepared these clinics across the Kingdom to serve individuals who wish to check on their health when they feel COVID-19 symptoms, such as a high fever or respiratory problems. Individuals can directly visit these clinics without having to schedule an appointment in advance. These clinics operate around the clock, and some of them operate for 16 hours all days of the week.
Furthermore, MOH announced resuming the operation of the third phase of Taakkad Centers initiative in various cities of the Kingdom. It comes as part of the extensive testing to assess the prevalence of COVID-19. This initiative was implemented through several outlets, including testing individuals inside their cars through centers established for this purpose in several cities. Primary health care centers (PHCs) also provide testing, and citizens and residents are allowed to book appointments for themselves through ‘Sehaty’ (My Health) application. The Ministry will continue to expand the novel Coronavirus testing and inaugurate special labs to carry out the necessary tests in the highest quality.