RIYADH – The Saudi Ministry of Health Call Center “937” stated in its Twitter account: “Donning the Niqab (for women) or the Shmaagh (for men) is deemed an alternative for the cloth face mask, provided it is made of several layers of fabric. Furthermore, it should fit tightly when worn, specifically at the nose and mouth areas.”
The ministry was responding to a question by one of its followers in Twitter that whether it suffices to cover one’s mouth and nose with ‘Shmaagh’ (Saudi male checkered head gear) instead of a cloth facemask.
The response would alleviate the concern of a citizen or resident to use the Shmaagh or Niqab as a substitute for the medical or cloth mask in the event masks are unavailable, or the individual has run out of his stock of masks and needs to go to a pharmacy to buy masks.
This query by the Twitter follower was made in the wake of a statement by an official source in the Ministry of Interior (MoI) that subsequent to the announcement made on Ramadan 14, 1441H approving the bylaw banning gatherings that contribute to spreading and transmitting the novel coronavirus COVID-19 infection.
It included a table of classification of violations accompanying the bylaw. Both the bylaw and the appended table of classification of violations have been amended to include several other violations of the precautionary and preventative measures (protocols) and the decided penalties for the violations.
They include the penalty for intentionally violating the precautionary and preventative measures (protocols) announced on Shawwal 6, 1441H, which is a fine of SR1,000.
The list of violations includes not wearing a medical or cloth face mask or any substitute that covers the nose and mouth, or not abiding by the mandatory social distancing, not allowing the pertinent employee or security guard to take his body temperature when entering a public or private sector facility, and not complying with the measures in place when the measured body temperature is above 38 degrees Celsius.
In the case of repeated violations, the penalty is multiplied by the number of instances.
Saudi Gazette report