Thousands of Saudi volunteers pull together to fight coronavirus

Security official enforcing the curfew to limit the spread of coronavirus check a motorist in Jeddah on Saturday. (SPA)

RIYADH (RAHNUMA): Saudi volunteers are part of the worldwide army of health care workers on the front line in the battle against the coronavirus.

In April, the Saudi Health Ministry called for volunteers to support the community response against COVID-19 via its platform https://volunteer.srca.org.sa/#!/home.

More than 400 areas of volunteering are covered on the website. There are more than 160,000 registered volunteers, 72,000 of whom are active and have signed up across the Kingdom.

Volunteers are from varying backgrounds; 32 percent of volunteers are female while 68 percent are male. As the Kingdom is in its second phase of slowly returning to normal life, there is still a long way to go as cases continue to be recorded, and health care workers — now more than ever — are needed.

Health care volunteers are assisting in different areas. Some are helping to monitor patients in quarantine, conducting COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction tests and delivering medicine to patients’ homes; some are working in emergency rooms, others are sent out to provide psychological support while others travel to shopping centers and malls to help raise awareness about the precautionary measures.

Duaa Al-Bukhari, 27, a lab technician working at the Kudai field hospital in Makkah, is grappling with the pandemic while her family is in Jeddah less than 100 miles away.

Through her work, she has participated in the mass testing of 2,500 individuals in one of Makkah’s most crowded neighborhoods. She described the experience as challenging but rewarding.

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