JEDDAH: Authorities airlifted a Saudi family from India after it tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
After a 15-hour journey, the family returned to the Kingdom safely and is now receiving medical care.
Following directives from King Salman for the immediate evacuation of the Saudi citizens, the Air Medical Evacuation Department of Health Services at the Saudi Defense Ministry made arrangements for their transfer from the crisis-hit country.
India is worst hit by the pandemic and last week, the country broke a world record after recording 416,000 cases.
Critical coronavirus cases in the Kingdom are continuing to rise at an alarming rate despite a growing number of recoveries.
On Tuesday, seven patients were admitted into intensive care units, raising the total number of patients in critical care to 1,384.
Authorities also recorded 1,047 new coronavirus cases, with the Riyadh region leading with 326 cases, Makkah with 250 and the Eastern Province with 122.
In total, there have been 435,027 coronavirus infections in the Kingdom since the beginning of the pandemic. There are now 8,078 active infections across Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday saw 847 new recoveries, raising the total number of recoveries over the course of the pandemic to 419,761. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is holding steady at 96.49 percent.
The Kingdom’s death toll rose to 7,188 after 14 new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded.
More than 11.8 million vaccine doses have been administered at a rate of 137,068 per day, meaning that about 34 percent of the Kingdom’s total population has received at least one vaccine dose.
In a question on the Saudi Ministry of Health’s 937 Twitter account about vaccines approved by the health authorities, the ministry said that the four approved vaccines are Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.
Expatriates returning to Saudi Arabia must show a vaccination certificate that demonstrates they have received one of the four approved vaccines, according to guidelines issued by the General Authority of Civil Aviation.
The Health Ministry also warned against receiving doses of different vaccines, as per health recommendations. Saudi authorities are awaiting studies on the interchangeability of coronavirus vaccines and findings from the Kingdom’s authoritative health body.