Businesses in Saudi Arabia face repercussions for ignoring COVID-19 regulations

The violations were detected by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority during inspection visits to a factory and four warehouses in Jeddah

  
People walk near dates stands in a food and dates market in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, August 7, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose.

People walk near dates stands in a food and dates market in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, August 7, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Waleed Ali

JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has referred five establishments under its supervision to the Ministry of Interior due to their failure to adhere to COVID-19 precautionary measures.

The FDA announced that violations were detected during inspection visits to a factory and four warehouses in Jeddah. The violations were reported to the Interior Ministry to take action against violators.

The violations include a lack of commitment to safety instructions such as taking employee and customers’ temperature prior to entering the facility, wearing face-masks and securing sanitizers in designated places.

The authority had previously issued a detailed guidebook that addresses preventive requirements to help facilities of food, drugs, cosmetic and medical equipments to limit the virus outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry continues its inspection campaign — in place since the virus outbreak — on private health facilities to ensure compliance with precautionary and social distancing measures, where violators are to be referred to the concerned authorities.

Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly warned on Twitter against a second wave of COVID-19 in the Kingdom. “If we do not all adhere to the preventive measures and if the lack of cooperation and loosening of commitment continues, then we will be at risk of a second wave and an increase in case numbers,” he said. “We do not want to reach this stage.”

“The steps to prevent that are simple; wear a mask, keep a safe space, wash or sanitize your hands, take a test when you contact a confirmed case or witness symptoms in yourself.”

Saudi Arabia reported 401 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, meaning that 343,774 people have now contracted the disease. There are 8,343 active cases receiving medical care, while 791 are in critical condition.

In addition, 466 patients have recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 330,181.

The ministry also announced 15 new COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday. The death toll now stands at 5,250.

Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 7,562,663 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with 53,523 carried out in the past 24 hours.

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