Saudi health ministry denies halting use of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine

Saudi health ministry denies halting use of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine
Saudi authorities continued their monitoring campaigns to ensure compliance with the precautionary measures imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 15 March 2021

Saudi health ministry denies halting use of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine

Saudi health ministry denies halting use of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine
  • More than 2.2 million people have received their coronavirus jabs so far in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: COVID-19 vaccines are safe, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health said Sunday as he rejected news that the Kingdom had halted the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for 48 hours.

More than 2.2 million people have received their COVID-19 jabs so far in Saudi Arabia.
Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said in a press conference that authorities were continuing to monitor the safety and efficacy of vaccines, which had not shown any concerning issues to date.
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine last December and the import and use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca one in February.
The number of confirmed cases and critical cases have fluctuated in the past month, slightly decreasing and increasing without clear visibility or an indication of stabilizing.
He added the numbers were still unstable and that fluctuations continued to be a cause of concern for officials. “It’s vital that the community continues to adhere to health and safety protocols, the results of which will lead the curve to decline in due time.”
Saudi Arabia on Sunday reported 348 new cases of COVID-19, with 179 of these in the Riyadh region.
Makkah had 52 cases, the Eastern Province had 44 and Qassim had 13. Jazan and Baha reported four cases each.
There have been 382,407 confirmed infections reported in the country since the beginning of the pandemic over a year ago.
There are 3,137 active cases, 555 of which are in critical care, and there were 247 new recoveries. The total number of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 is 372,703.
There were four more deaths due to complications from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 6,567.
More than 14.3 million PCR tests have been carried out in the Kingdom since the beginning of the pandemic, with 34,731 conducted in the past 24 hours.
Saudi authorities continued their monitoring campaigns to ensure compliance with the precautionary measures imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
They recorded 34,763 violations within one week, according to Interior Ministry statistics.

FASTFACTS

382,407 Total cases

372,703 Recoveries

6,567 Deaths

Riyadh recorded the highest number of violations with 13,071, followed by Makkah with 7,233, and the Eastern Province had 4,948 violations.
There were 2,261 violations recorded in Qassim, 1,648 in Madinah, 1,215 in Jouf, 966 in Tabuk, 812 in Baha, and 808 in Hail.
The Northern Borders region had 803 violations, Asir had 625, Jazan had 228 and Najran had 145.
The ministry called on everyone to keep following the preventive protocols and instructions issued by authorities to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing closed 158 establishments for violating COVID-19 precautionary health measures.
It said that field teams in various regions and governorates had carried out 19,516 inspection tours of shops, food establishments and markets in one day.
Inspections resulted in the detection of 701 violations of health measures issued by the ministry and public health authorities as part of the Kingdom’s anti-coronavirus efforts.
It added that municipalities had shut 158 establishments and applied penalties according to regulations.
It stressed the importance of following preventive measures, placing stickers on floors to promote social distancing, providing sanitizers and temperature measuring devices at the entrances of commercial establishments, as well as using the Tawakkalna app.
The ministry said it was important to penalize violators to preserve public health and safety, adding that cooperation by commercial establishments in following preventive measures was also necessary.
It urged people to flag health violations by contacting the Municipal Reports Center on 940.

The Kingdom vs. COVID-19
How Saudi Arabia acted swiftly and coordinated a global response to fight the coronavirus, preventing a far worse crisis at home and around the world

Enter


keywords

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure
Updated 33 min 1 sec ago

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure
  • GACA said this protocol will help facilitate the entry procedures and reduce waiting periods at ports of entry
  • The circular was issued to all airlines in the Kingdom

RIYADH: All foreign travelers and their companions traveling to the Kingdom must complete registration for their coronavirus (COVID-19) immunization data before departure, according to a circular issued Thursday by Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation Authority.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said this protocol will help facilitate the entry procedures and reduce waiting periods at ports of entry.
The registration is applicable to all citizens from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, holders of new visas, residents, and their companions, both inoculated and non-vaccinated.
The move is “in line with efforts made by the Kingdom to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the safety of citizens and residents,” GACA said.


Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia
Updated 17 June 2021

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Hatem Samman joined Amazon in January 2021 as head of public policy for Saudi Arabia.

His work with Saudi government agencies and key officials aims at building strong strategic socioeconomic and business relationships in the Kingdom in line with Vision 2030.

Samman previously served as a senior policy adviser at the G20 Saudi Secretariat and as chief economist and strategy adviser at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, now the Ministry of Investment.

In an earlier role, he was director and lead economist of the Ideation Center at Booz & Company’s (now Strategy &) think tank in the Middle East.

He was also vice president of credit administration at Riyad Bank, and director of regulatory affairs and strategic planning at the Saudi Telecommunications Co.

Among several other positions he has held over the years, Samman served as a fellow at the University of Minnesota and consultant at the World Bank.

He has published several academic articles in prestigious journals including the International Journal of Applied Economics and the Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, and has written commentary for several newspapers, including the Financial Times.

He is also the co-author of numerous publications, including “How to Succeed at Education Reform: The Case for Saudi Arabia” and “the Broader GCC Region” (2008), and “Meeting the Employment Challenge in the GCC: The Need for a Holistic Strategy” (2010). Samman holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and mathematics from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in political economy and public policy from the University of Southern California.


Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts
Updated 17 June 2021

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Representatives from a variety of media sectors met on Thursday to draft a code of conduct for the media’s handling of terrorist incidents and to formulate a strategy for the reporting of issues related to extremism and terrorism.

The meeting — held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers in Tunisia — was attended by members of information ministries and heads of the security media agencies of interior ministries from across the Arab world, as well as representatives from the Arab League, the Arab Radio and Broadcasting Union, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, and the Saudi Broadcasting Authority.

In his opening speech, Khalid Hilal Al-Maamari, the assistant secretary-general of the Arab Interior Ministers’ Council, said the meeting highlighted the importance of the media and its role in security awareness and crime prevention. He also stressed the need to establish an effective partnership between the media arms of the security services and the news media to ensure unified efforts to protect Arab countries from any possible threats, not only in terms of security, but also at cultural, social, health and economic levels.

He added that joint cooperation between the security media and representatives of the ministries of information is the best way to achieve that goal.

 

 


Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council
Updated 17 June 2021

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council
  • The letter dealt with relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday received a written message from the Chairman of Chad’s Transitional Military Council, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, regarding relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them in various fields.
The message was received on behalf of Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, by Minister of State for African Affairs Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Kattan during a meeting with his Chadian counterpart Mahamat Zene Cherif in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Kattan welcomed the Chadian foreign minister and his accompanying delegation, and they discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in various fields, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.


Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly
Updated 17 June 2021

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly
  • The Kingdom recorded 14 COVID-19 deaths and 1,309 new cases in past 24 hours
  • 8 mosques reopened in 4 regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after 8 people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that a high COVID immunization rate had been achieved among the elderly Saudi population (60 years and above).
Immunization rates reached 98 percent in Hafr Al-Batin, 93 percent in Al-Ahsa, 93 percent in Qurayyat, 86 percent in Bisha, 83 percent in Riyadh, 80 percent in the Eastern Province, and 80 percent in Taif.
The ministry said that these percentages were achieved after vaccinating this group with at least one dose.
Since Saudi Arabia began its nationwide vaccination campaign on Dec. 17, the Ministry of Health has targeted the elderly as one of its priority groups, launching a Priority service for Saudis and expats over the age of 75 without registration, appointment or waiting.
This has been available at vaccination centers in all regions of the Kingdom.
The ministry called on everyone to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine by registering on the “Sehhaty” application, stressing that the approved vaccines in the Kingdom are effective and safe.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests can be conducted per month, according to the new protocol for COVID-19 tests in the Kingdom.
“If you have a respiratory disease, go to Tetamman clinics without booking an appointment and the doctor will assess your condition and conduct an examination for you,” the Ministry explained. “If you have recovered from the virus, you do not need an examination to prove your recovery. If you come in direct contact with a confirmed case after taking the COVID-19 vaccine, you don’t need a test.”
The Kingdom recorded 14 new COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,635.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,309 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 470,723 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 10,879 remain active and 1,533 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in Makkah with 388, followed by the capital Riyadh with 265, the Eastern Province with 235, Asir recorded 115, and Jazan confirmed 95 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,022 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 452,209.

The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Saudi Arabia had so far conducted 20,712,598 PCR tests, with 94,921 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have dealt with hundreds of thousands of people since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Among them, Taakad (make sure) centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or only mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual. Tetamman (rest assured) clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments for both services can be made via the ministry’s Sehhaty app.
Meanwhile, 16,275,155 people in the country have received a jab against COVID-19.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened eight mosques in four regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after eight people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed and reopened after being sterilized to 1,596 within 131 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 177 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.85 million.