MOH News

MOH: The Pandemic Is Not Over Yet
31 October 2021

MOH spokesman, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is still strongly present worldwide and easing the precautionary measures does not mean that it is over. “We should all continue to be cautious,” he said. He said that the number of mortalities exceeding 5 million is “very sad”. On the other hand, over 7 billion doses of the vaccine have been given to people worldwide, meaning that the pandemic is not over yet. Some countries are even witnessing a surge in the number of cases due to inaction in terms of applying the precautionary measures and many people failing to take the second dose of the vaccine to ensure a complete immunization. 

The MOH spokesman shed light on four aspects he deemed essential. They involved the urgency of everyone getting fully vaccinated, the importance of a third (booster) shot, and everybody continuing to adhere to the precautionary measures.

Dr. Al-Abdulaali called on high-risk groups to speed up taking the booster shot. These include individuals with organ transplants or chronic renal failure. Soon, these groups will expand to include more people with chronic diseases, seniors, and health practitioners.

Over 43.3 million doses were given to people in KSA, and about 21.4 million people were given the two doses of the vaccine. Al-Abdulaali revealed that 46 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Kingdom, bringing the total cases to 548,617. 2,253 active cases were also reported. Their health status is mostly stable, with the exception of 61 critical cases. 

The MOH spokesman made this statement in the COVID-19 briefing held on Sunday, with the participation of MOI spokesman, Talal Al-Shalhoub and the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing spokesman, Mr. Saif Al-Suwailem. 

Al-Abdulaali mentioned that 36 COVID-19 recoveries were reported, bringing the total number of recoveries to 537,570 to date. And new mortalities were reported, bringing the total number to 8,794.
For his part, the MOI spokesperson, Lt. Col. Al-Shalhoub, said “We are thankful for all that has been achieved so far. Easing the precautionary measures has been the highlight of all our achievements after strenuous efforts exerted by both the authorities concerned with combating the pandemic and the society. We keep seeing the effects of the pandemic on many countries of the world, so everyone must continue to be careful”.

He stressed the importance of adhering to the health protocols approved by the Public Health Authority to limit the spread of the virus, as well as wearing face masks, as directed by the concerned authorities, especially in locations where the health status of individuals cannot be checked via ‘Tawakkalna’ application, in both the public and the private sector. Additionally, anyone wishing to enter an establishment must be fully vaccinated. Those who do not do so will be committing a violation.

He pointed out that establishments that do not follow the approved protocols will be penalized. The authority supervising the private sector within its scope shall impose a closure penalty of up to 6 months, when necessary. Relevant authorities will also impose penalties on violators of the precautionary measures. 

He indicated that licenses are starting to get issued for institutional quarantine places that can host people arriving from outside the Kingdom from countries where no entry restrictions were imposed. This includes non-immunized workers. Moreover, the health situation in the Kingdom is continuously subject to follow-up and evaluation. The necessary precautionary measures are applied and lifted as necessary across cities, governorates, or regions. Last week, 742 violations of the precautionary measures were found across all regions of the Kingdom. Legal measures were taken against the violators.

He called on everyone to adhere to precautionary and preventive measures and report violations by calling (911) in the regions of Riyadh and Makkah, and (999) across the rest of the Kingdom. Citizens can also contact government agencies overseeing the private sector to report any violations they come across. Everyone must abide by the precautionary measures to maintain the achievements made so far. They should also seek to get vaccinated as quickly as possible to speed up the return to a normal life. 

Mr. Saif Al-Suwailem said that inspection rounds and recording violations continue with the aim of limiting the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, effective oversight is taking place over food establishments, shops, central markets, and other establishments subject to the supervision of the Ministry. Meanwhile, all the necessary preventive measures are properly applied. Noteworthy, some wedding venues were found to commit violations and breach the measures. 

 “We continue our awareness and guidance campaigns, along with checking the health status of individuals via ‘Tawakkalna’ application. We also urge customers at malls and public establishments to abide by the controls and protocols issued by the Public Health Authority. All employees and customers are obligated to wear face masks in closed areas. We also keep providing awareness instructions that keep everyone safe,” he said. He added that employees are hired in public benefit markets to organize and monitor the process of disinfecting facilities, surfaces, and shopping baskets, and encourage customers to pay for their purchases electronically.

Last Update : 14 November 2021 01:29 PM
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