Mass screening in Qatif neighborhoods continues; no positive case

April 21, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

QATIF — For the fourth day in a row, four teams representing preventive medicine wing of Qatif governorate in the Eastern Province continued their proactive mass medical screening campaign in the neighborhoods of Qatif on Monday.

Dr. Muhammad Al-Mohsen, supervisor of sample collection at the Darain Health Center in Qatif governorate, said that the results of the samples, which are sent to the regional laboratory in Dammam, appear within 48 hours, and the tests held over the past few days were all negative.

The mass screening campaign started following the directive of Minister of Health Tawfiq Al-Rabiah last Friday to conduct mass coronavirus screenings in densely populated neighborhoods all over the Kingdom. “We are conducting mass screenings of coronavirus to proactively increase efforts to reach populations within neighborhoods and individuals in their homes,” Al-Rabiah said on Twitter. Subsequently, medics in personal protective equipment (PPE) have been checking temperatures of residents and conducting coronavirus swab tests for people in their homes.

Dr. Al-Mohsen said that the process of selecting the targeted neighborhoods for proactive mass screening is carried out by the governorate’s Preventive Medicine Office in accordance with the specific lists prepared by it. Subsequently, the teams are communicating with those families and workers to be present at a specific point for collecting their samples. He said that each group takes 100 random samples in the targeted neighborhoods, while the number of samples rise up to 150 in some neighborhoods. “The screening campaign begins at 3 p.m. and continues until the completion of sampling from the targeted lists, sometimes until 12 in the night. The campaign covers mainly neighborhoods with a high density of expatriate workers and this does not include neighborhoods where mostly citizens are residing.

Al-Mohsen said that the medical teams are actively involved in their work for about 16 hours a day in their heroic mission of combating the epidemic and preventing its spread. He said the teams took on Sunday samples from four neighborhoods, including two in Saihat, as well as the neighborhoods of Turkey and the North Gate in Qatif. The teams will continue their campaign in most of the neighborhoods in Qatif over the coming days. “The proactive mass screening campaign does not target families that have contacts with infected persons, but is focusing on random screening in the targeted neighborhoods, in order to ensure that they are free from coronavirus. It is not yet decided when the campaign would come to an end,” he said, adding that the campaign will stop with the elimination of the virus and the absence of infections in the governorate.

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