Saudi Commerce Ministry, hypermarkets discuss online shopping, social distancing

People can buy whatever they need online, before and after the curfew. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 26 March 2020

Saudi Commerce Ministry, hypermarkets discuss online shopping, social distancing

  • Discounts are to encourage online shopping and social distancing

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commerce Ministry has been meeting with leading hypermarkets across the Kingdom to discuss promotions and discounts to encourage online shopping and social distancing.
Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, the ministry’s spokesman, emphasized that people can buy whatever they need online, before and after the curfew. He said a newly implemented system is being followed by hypermarkets.
“You must’ve seen photos of people lined up outside supermarkets. Don’t fret, that’s not due to overcrowding. It’s all arranged to ensure no more than 25 persons are inside the premises at once,” he added.
The number could go up depending on the size of the establishment and the numbers dictated by the Health Ministry.
As of Thursday, said Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, the Kingdom has lost three people to coronavirus — the third death was a resident in Madinah who suffered chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure.
He announced 112 new cases of the virus — 12 of those returned from abroad, while the remaining hundred were people who came into contact with those infected. Four individuals have recovered, Al-Aly added, bringing the number of recoveries to 33.
The total of number of confirmed cases is now 1,012 in the Kingdom, among them 23 medical staff who were infected in a private hospital in Riyadh and have since been put under quarantine.
“It’s highly important to get self-tested, which is easily done on the app Mawid or call 937,” said Al-Aly. He emphasized the need to follow protocol with self-isolation and curfew, adding that the number of people in quarantine has reached 13,000, with 4,000 in health institutes and 9,000 under house quarantine.
With the new curfew regulations implemented in Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah, beginning from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m., the Interior Ministry has urged citizens and residents to adhere to the rules.
“All routes to and from Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah are completely monitored and under security control to ensure no one goes in or out,” said the ministry’s spokesman Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, adding that not only would the driver of a vehicle be fined, so too would the passengers.
Those undermining the curfew on social media have been apprehended and directed to the necessary authorities, he said.

Al-Shalhoub added that those who are forced to travel domestically will find the list of permissible entities and job titles allowed to take a flight in the king’s royal decree, or by calling 999 and 911 in the Western Province.
Any exemptions will be on the list, and if an individual belongs to an exempted entity but their job title is not exempted, they will not be admitted on the flight, he said.


Al-Jouf governor reviews region’s goods and prices monitoring efforts

Updated 28 March 2020

Al-Jouf governor reviews region’s goods and prices monitoring efforts

SAKAKA: Al-Jouf Gov. Prince Faisal bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz reviewed the efforts exerted by the region’s Ministry of Commerce branch, in its visits and field examination tours of the region’s cities and provinces, and in the way it is dealing with reports submitted by residents.

Prince Faisal was briefed about the situation during a meeting he held through video conferencing call with the director general of the region’s Ministry of Commerce branch, Sami Al-Ruwaili, with the participation of the region’s undersecretary, Hussain Al-Sultan.

“Under the supervision of Prince Faisal, the branch doubled its efforts in the past month as it conducted 1,100 tours, received 470 reports and issued 160 tickets, while some of the tours took place in coordination with the municipality and the region’s Health Ministry branch,” Al-Ruwaili said.

“The prices of around 140 commodities in all of the region’s commercial and food stores are electronically checked on a daily basis in the morning and at night. We are also monitoring the stocks and availability of food in the region and contacting the merchants to facilitate food provision,” he added.

“The Kingdom has the largest food stock in the Middle East. This fact was confirmed by the Ministry of Commerce through the provision of products, goods and the great capacity of the Kingdom’s largest factories. Such measures were made possible thanks to the support of the government of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Faisal noted, commending the citizens for their awareness and cooperation with the relevant authorities.