MOH News

MOH: Vaccines Helped Curb Severe Infections
09 January 2022

The MOH spokesman, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali, said that new COVID-19 cases are still reported and monitored on a daily basis across the world. In the meantime, there is a race for providing and developing vaccines. He made this statement during the Sunday briefing, in which Ms. Ebtessam Al-Shahri, spokesperson of the Ministry of Education (MOE), also participated.

After several surges in the KSA’s pandemic curve, Al-Abdulaali said, the curve is now being flattened. This is due to the efforts exerted by both the authorities and the society, besides adherence to preventive measures, and vaccination. He pointed to the ongoing monitoring of critical cases, which, though still on the increase, are incomparable to how they used to be before vaccination. This is a good sign not to be overlooked, he said. In 2020, thousands of patients needed hospitalization. The situation is different now. The number of COVID-19 vaccine jabs dispensed so far has surpassed 52 million doses, given to 23.3 people, the MOH spokesman stressed, and the impact of vaccination is evident in curbing the number of critical cases.

 For her part, the MOE spokesperson, Ms. Al-Shahri, extended sincere thanks and gratitude for the Kingdom’s rulers for their colossal, unstinting support for education, especially during the pandemic. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, in his annual speech at the Consultative Assembly (Majlis Al-Shura), highlighted the many outstanding accomplishments the Saudi education system has achieved.

She stressed that the development of education is going on by leaps and bounds. And she touched on the achievements the Kingdom’s education system has seen, thanks to the generous support from its leadership. These include the international recognition of the Saudi remote-learning system, through two platforms (‘Madrasaty’ and ‘Rawdaty’), as well as 24 educational channels. Society needs to adapt to the changes and challenges imposed by the pandemic, she said, since reliance on remote learning alone till the end of the pandemic (and reaching community immunity) is unthinkable.

The safe return of preparatory and secondary students to schools, Al-Shahri added, wouldn’t have been possible without coordination and integration between MOH and MOE. It is in the framework of this coordination that today’s joint press release was issued to declare the return of primary-school and pre-school children to their schools on the 23rd of January. The return of those students to school fulfills families’ desire, on the one hand, while, on the other hand, satisfying an educational need. It follows that families, parents, and the whole society should take their share in adherence to the protective measures, as well as raising the awareness of their children.

This decision comes also in line with the continuation of attendance-based education of all stages in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G20 countries. The return of primary- and pre-school children to their classes is scheduled after two weeks from now, she stated, in order for them and their families to get ready for that return.

Al-Shahri went on to say that flexible operational forms would be put to work at schools. Risk forms are of three types: low, intermediate, and high. Health protocols and preventive measures will be applied accordingly by the Public Health Authority (Weqaya), to ensure a safe return to school.

 She affirmed that 97.9% of pre-and primary schools lie in the low and intermediate-risk domains. As for local and international education schools, they will be reopened to work as they used to do before the pandemic. So far as exams are concerned, Al-Shahri clarified, students of all stages will be required to take second-semester exams in person. For any student who can’t take the exam for unanticipated reasons (illness, etc), the exam shall be re-scheduled starting from the third semester. E-learning and remote learning will continue side by side with attendance-based education, through the educational platforms and channels. 

Last Update : 11 January 2022 08:41 AM
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