JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that the number of active and critical cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are continuously dropping.
There were 492 new confirmed cases reported on Thursday, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 335,097 in the Kingdom.
Of the confirmed cases, 10,557 remain active and receiving medical care, while 993 are in critical condition.
In addition, 592 patients have recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 319,746. The death toll has reached 4,794 with 26 new deaths reported on Thursday.
Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said that symptoms of seasonal influenza and coronavirus are similar, and people experiencing symptoms should go to one of the centers without having to make an appointment.
He noted that flu vaccines are found in all health centers, and they are safe and important for all individuals, except for people who are allergic to eggs and babies under six months.
Al-Aly highlighted some popular misconceptions about the seasonal influenza, such as that it is not dangerous, that traditional herbs and natural blends can replace vaccines, that the vaccine need be taken only once in a lifetime, and that the vaccine causes very dangerous complications.
The deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah for Umrah affairs, Dr. Abdul Aziz Wazzan, said that the ministry had developed the Eatmarna app to enable people wishing to perform Umrah, and visit and pray at the Two Holy Mosques. It could now issue permits in accordance with the authorities’ approved capacity, to provide a safe environment that ensures that health measures are being followed.
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Some features of the app complement the Tawakkalna app to verify the health status of the applicant before issuing a permit and maintain the safety of pilgrims performing Umrah and visitors, in addition to enabling the permit applicant to determine the closest assembly point through digital maps.
Wazzan said that there are additional services that people can benefit from after receiving their permit, including booking transport from the pilgrims’ transfer centers to the assembly centers around the mosque, or booking a package of services such as accommodation and food through the electronic shopping platforms adopted by the Saudi Hajj and Umrah Global Distribution System.