In a bid to expand coronavirus testing in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom has signed a strategic deal worth $265 million with China. As per reports, Beijing will provide as many as nine million coronavirus test kits to the Saudi government to help its COVID-19 relief effort. The recent deal comes as the deadly virus has been spreading rapidly across the Kingdom.
After a phone call between Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two leaders are said to have also agreed upon 500 specialised Chinese experts and technicians testing people and training medics in the Kingdom.
As per reports, the Saudi government will set up nearly six regional labs while the Chinese health officials will ensure the quality of tests for a period of eight months and also overseeing tests throughout the country.
With more than 17,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 139 deaths, the Saudi government is doing everything to contain the spread of the virus. In a bid to fight against the deadly virus, the Kingdom has reportedly purchased more test kits from countries like the United States, Switzerland and South Korea to reach its testing target of 14.5 million.
While speaking to the media, Saudi Health Minister Dr Tawfig al-Rabiah said, “The remarkable integration of government agencies in the crisis is succeeded by an outstanding leader, who works tirelessly, who has managed to create a harmonious team that works with high professionalism and his first concern is the citizen”.
As per reports, earlier this month, the Saudi King also approved an extension of the kingdom’s curfew until further notice. Initially, King Salman had ordered a curfew for 21 days, which took effect on March 23. However, with increasing cases of COVID-19 infection, the authorities decided to extend the curfew. The government has also place Riyadh and other big cities of the kingdom under a 24-hour curfew.
(With ANI inputs)