In implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and HRH the Crown Prince to immediately provide necessary equipment, supplies and medications to confront the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and as a result of the phone call made Sunday between the Saudi King and Chinese President Xi Jinping; the Governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China signed a SR 995 million (US$ 265 million) contract providing 9 million tests to diagnose the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) covering 9 million people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The contract includes providing necessary equipment and supplies, making available of 500 Chinese specialists and technicians who are specialized in performing tests, establishing six large regional laboratories distributed throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia including a mobile laboratory with a capacity of performing 10,000 tests per day, in addition to training Saudi cadres, conducting daily tests and comprehensive field tests, and ensuring their quality for eight months.
The contract also includes analyzing the genetic map of a number of samples in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and analyzing the immune map in the community, covering one million samples, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The contract was co-signed by the National Unified Procurement Company (NUPCO) and Chinese Company (BGI). The contract was approved by Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, as a representative of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Chinese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing, as a representative of the Chinese Government.
This contract is one of the largest contracts that will provide diagnostic tests for the novel Coronavirus. Tests were also purchased from several other companies from the United States of America, Switzerland and South Korea, bringing the number of targeted tests to 14.5 million tests, covering around 40% of the number of population of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In a press statement, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah, Advisor at the Royal Court, said that the great care given by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince reflects the Government's keenness on the health of this country's people, pointing out that these large numbers of tests clearly show that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is racing time to diagnose and isolate cases in order to reduce the risks of this pandemic.