JEDDAH:Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the Kingdom have reached a total of almost half a million since the first case was reported about 494 days ago.
On Thursday, the Health Ministry reported 1,257 confirmed cases, with 11,713 active and 1,385 in a critical condition.
The latest cases bring with the overall number of infections to 497,773.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday reported 12 more COVID-19-related deaths, taking the overall toll to 7,933.
The Riyadh region reported the highest number of cases with 299, followed by Jeddah with 131, Makkah with 64 and Dammam with 55.
In addition, the ministry said 1,484 patients had recovered from the disease, increasing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 478,127.
Saudi Arabia so far has conducted 22,709,413 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with 113,796 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, 19,192,692 people, including 1,390,947 who are elderly, have received a jab against COVID-19.
The ministry continues to encourage the public to have both jabs. “Taking the second dose of the vaccine gives your body better immunity and protects you from the virus variants,” the ministry said on its official Twitter account.
As the vaccination campaign continues, Riyadh’s Central Second Health Cluster said that all health practitioners working at its facilities have been vaccinated.
The Second Health Cluster in Riyadh includes over 48 health centers in addition to King Fahad Medical City and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Hospital.
Appointments for the second dose of the vaccine are now available for people in the 40-plus and 30-plus age groups.
Health ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly advised parents not to delay giving their children the vaccine.
In a video statement, Al-Abd Al-Aly said the diseases caused by this virus are dangerous, and it has been scientifically proven that critical cases can affect young people aged between 12 and 18.
He confirmed that the vaccine is available, and that testing has proven that it is safe and effective. “Do not listen to rumors, especially for this age group, and vaccinate your children.”
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Hajj Security Forces Command, Brig. Gen. Sami Al-Shuwairekh, said that 52 people were arrested for violating the regulations and instructions of the Hajj, and did not have a permit for Hajj.
Legal measures will be taken against the violators, including a fine of SR10,000 each.
Al-Shuwairekh called on all citizens and residents to abide by the instructions for this year’s pilgrimage season, warning that legal action will be taken against anyone who tries to reach the Grand Mosque, the central area around it, and the holy sites (Mina, Muzdalifah, Arafat) without a permit, before the end of season on July 23.