JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has announced on Sunday that more than 82 percent of health practitioners in all medical facilities have been vaccinated.
Of these, 98 percent are working in vaccination centers in the Kingdom and 93 percent are working in Tetamman (rest-assured) clinics and Taakad (make sure) centers.
Tetamman clinics offer COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms, or if they are believed to be carriers. The Taakad centers offer treatment and advice to those with clear virus symptoms such as fever and breathing difficulty.
Nearly 15 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to residents, which means that 43.1 percent of the Kingdom’s 34.8 million have been vaccinated with at least one dose, offered at more than 590 vaccination centers across Saudi Arabia, some of which operate 24 hours a day, and have witnessed a large turnout.
In the periodic government communication press briefing on Sunday, Dr. Majid Al-Gasabi, the acting minister of media, said: “There’s no taking the vaccine by force,” adding that “it’s difficult to coexist and return to schools and work without a vaccine. Our public’s health needs the vaccine for those who want to coexist. The Kingdom placed health protocols for this reason and it’s not compulsory.”
Questions over the validity and safety of vaccines continue to circulate and the MOH is encouraging all to get vaccinated to ensure their health while refuting any false claims. Dr. Abdullah Assiri, assistant deputy minister of preventive health, noted the danger from a food allergy in comparison to an allergy from a component in the vaccine itself: “Out of nearly 15 million doses of the COVID vaccine in the Kingdom, 73 cases of hypersensitivity to the vaccine were reported and all of them recovered.” He said that that was the equivalent of five cases per million globally.
In addition to the vaccines, municipalities in different regions have been working on measures to ensure the safety of citizens.
The Jeddah Municipality had been making efforts to control crowds at known gathering points such the Jeddah Waterfront. In the past week, 356 field inspection tours were carried out and the authorities took appropriate measures when detecting violations and closing sites.
The municipality noted that it had drawn up field plans for Jeddah’s waterfronts in the “Northern Corniche, Al-Saif Beach, Palestine Street Walk and the Middle Corniche,” regularly cleaning sites and sanitizing facilities where people could sit and children could play, in addition to disinfecting waste containers.
The Eastern Province Municipality carried out 10,347 field inspections in commercial locations. The municipality will be monitoring these facilities and applying new protocols, especially in salons for men and women, and ensuring that people adhere to the rules by taking precautions and using the Tawaakkalna app.
A total of 73,955 PCR tests were conducted in testing hubs throughout Saudi Arabia. Appointments for services related to tackling the virus can be made with the Sehhaty app.
The Kingdom recorded 16 new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,456.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 984 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 457,546 people have now contracted the disease.
Of the total number of cases, 9,446 remain active and 1,545 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in Makkah with 349, followed by the capital Riyadh with 210, the Eastern Province with 140, Madinah recorded 73, and Asir confirmed 61 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,185 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 440,644.
#الصحة تعلن عن تسجيل (984) حالة إصابة جديدة بفيروس كورونا (كوفيد-19)، وتسجيل (16) حالات وفيات رحمهم الله، وتسجيل (1185) حالة تعافي ليصبح إجمالي عدد الحالات المتعافية (440,644) حالة ولله الحمد. pic.twitter.com/egswTIzuUJ
— و ز ا ر ة ا لـ صـ حـ ة السعودية (@SaudiMOH) June 6, 2021
The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Police in the Eastern Province arrested 28 people at a rest house in Hafr Al-Batin for violating the maximum number of people permitted at a gathering. Penalties have been imposed on the organizers and all those who attended.
During inspection tours, authorities in Khamis Mushait closed down the Haraj market for not adhering to measures to control overcrowding and the movement of shoppers.
Police in Riyadh said they arrested 169 people and police in Al-Baha said they arrested 45 people for flouting quarantine instructions after they tested positive for COVID-19.
Penalties for individuals who violate quarantine instructions include a fine of up to SR200,000 ($53,332) and/or up to two years imprisonment, and penalties are doubled for repeat offenders. If the violation was committed by an expat, they face deportation from the Kingdom and are permanently banned from re-entry.
Legal proceedings have been taken against and penalties have been imposed on all those arrested.
Riyadh police also said security forces arrested two Saudi females and a male in their 20s following a report of a mass quarrel at a shopping mall in the capital. They also said they arrested 13 others for violating precautionary measures while they were at the scene of the quarrel and legal measures have been taken and all parties have been referred to the Public Prosecution.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened four mosques in four regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after some people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed and reopened after being sterilized to 1,504 within 120 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 173 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.73 million.