MOH News

MOH: COVID-19 Infection Rate Is the Highest Since the Outset of 2021
18 April 2021

MOH spokesman, Dr. Mohammad Al-Abdulaali, said that KSA is still seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, which is the highest since the beginning of this year, in addition to a 55% increase in cases among women. Critical cases are also seeing a significant increase as the number of women who were admitted into ICU. With this in mind, the demand on the vaccine by women is still much less than hoped, resulting in a noticeable increase in the number of critical cases among them. 

The number of given COVID-19 vaccine doses is estimated to be 7,069,257. The doses were given at over 590 centers across the Kingdom. Dr. Al-Abdulaali said that undergoing the swab before receiving the vaccine is unneeded. Moreover, the Kingdom has managed to overcome difficult stages throughout this pandemic, and will continue to do so until community immunity is reached, provided that everybody adheres to the precautions. 

Over the past 6 days of Ramadan, it was noted that some restaurants did not adhere to the preventive measures. Dr. Al-Abdulaali called on everyone to be careful when eating out at restaurants. All customers should wear face masks and maintain social distancing. 

Al-Abdulaali revealed that 916 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Kingdom, bringing the total cases to 404,970. These include 9445 active cases, still receiving medical care. Their health status is mostly stable, with the exception of 1044 critical cases.

The MOH spokesman made this statement in the COVID-19 briefing held on Sunday, which also hosted the Ministry of Interior (MOI) spokesman, Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub. Dr. Al-Abdulaali mentioned that 907 cases recoveries were reported, bringing the total number of recoveries to 388,702 to date. 13 new mortalities were also reported, bringing the total number of COVID-19 mortalities in the Kingdom to 6,823. Health services are still provided by all MOH centers and facilities. ‘Taakkad’ centers have conducted 8,867,364 swabs, and ‘Tetamman’ clinics have served 2,357,619 outpatients. Similarly, the 937 Service Center has provided health and medical consultations to 33,118,237 beneficiaries. And the total number of COVID-19 lab tests has amounted to 16,184,707. 

For his part, Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub stated that the observed increases in the pandemic curve indicators and number of critical cases will lead to unpleasant  consequences. Furthermore, some activities may be restricted and places may be closed. Moreover, neighborhoods and cities may end up being isolated, and means of transportations there would be halted. This would result in a situation where everyone is deemed careless.

Despite the efforts made by the government to put human health first, and the constant warnings given by the concerned agencies regarding the precautionary measures, many are still behaving carelessly. Security authorities and the executive committees in all regions continue to follow up the application of precautionary measures in all cities and governorates to penalize violators of the precautionary measures.

 During those rounds, several violators of isolation and quarantine were penalized after confirming they have COVID-19. All legal measures were taken against them.

Violators will have fines worth SAR 200,000 imposed on them, or a prison sentence of 2 years at most. In some cases both penalties may be applied.  If a violation was repeated, the penalty previously applied would be doubled. 

Security authorities continue to intensify their efforts to arrest the violators of the precautionary measures and the regulations to restrict gatherings, as well as those who do not wear their face masks. Moreover, MOI continues its efforts to control gatherings in all regions of the Kingdom, whether in residential neighborhoods and rest-stops, or villages, districts and other public areas. It aims to restrict all violations and take legal measures against perpetrators within its scope. Furthermore, it works to support government agencies that oversee the private sector. Control units in all regions of the Kingdom will enforce legal penalties required, up to shutting down the violating facilities.

Last week, 27,377 violations of the precautionary measures were found. Riyadh region had the lion’s share with 9,471 violations, accounting for 34% of the total number of violations across all regions of the Kingdom, followed by Makkah with 5,756 violations, and the Eastern Province with 3,589 violations. All legal measures were taken against the violators. Al-Shalhoub also urged everyone to report any violations they encounter to the number (999) in all regions of the Kingdom, and (911) in Makkah and Riyadh. He added that it is crucial to adhere to the precautionary measures until the pandemic is over. 

The high pandemic curve and causes of COVID-19 transmission are clear to everyone. Everyone must do their best to avoid the causes of the virus and the application of stricter measures in the future. 

“We have noticed that some people share content on social media platforms that does not take the precautionary measures into consideration. This content involves members of the our society who may be more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19,” Al-Shalhoub said.  These practices may cause people to contract the virus. This eventually contributes to the virus spread as the precautionary measures aren't taken seriously. 

The necessary legal measures were taken against people who posted the content as a reminder that everyone is responsible for what they do and for properly applying the precautionary measures.  Moreover, the current health conditions are being continuously monitored and assessed. Special measures will also be imposed on any activity that neglects the approved protocols to prevent the virus, as well as any city, governorate, or region where such follow-up would be required.

He urged everyone to adhere to the precautionary and preventive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Cooperation is necessary, and applying the measures in all cases must be a priority until a safe stage is reached.

For his part, the official spokesman of Hajj and Umrah Ministry, Engineer Hesham Abdul-Monem Saeed, said that the number of beneficiaries of ‘Eatmarna’ application reached 15 million. He stressed that immunization is a requirement for obtaining a permit to perform Umrah.

He reviewed the standards of a safe transport service by the authorized centers of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. The top requirement stipulates that the number of passengers should not exceed 50% of a bus’s capacity. Additionally, a safe distance must be maintained inside the bus and hand sanitizers must be provided. Furthermore, passengers’ permits must be checked before they board the bus. Moreover, all passengers must carry their own luggage while on the bus. Noteworthy, the Ministry of Hajj has provided 2,500 buses where all workers are vaccinated.

Last Update : 20 April 2021 05:56 AM
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