JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is well on its way to herd immunity as members of the community continue to adhere to measures and register for vaccines.
After announcing the status of COVID-19 cases globally, Ministry of Health spokesperson, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, warned of a spike in numbers during the Eid Al-Adha holidays and warned of a previous rise in cases due to lack of adherence to social distancing measures.
“There should be no repeats of this disdain from anyone, it is not yet time for us to relax. We will reach positive results by being strict with preventative measures,” Al-Abd Al-Aly said. He expressed his hope of seeing a downward curve in the number of cases in the near future if people were vaccinated and continued to practice preventative measures against COVID-19.
With more than 19.7 million vaccines being administered in the Kingdom, the spokesman announced that the second dose of vaccines was open to all ages for those eligible to receive them. “There had to be a certain period of time between the first and second doses, regardless of age. I am expecting a record number of people to receive their second doses.”
It was also stated that those who have not been vaccinated were at a much greater risk of contracting the virus as well as having harsher symptoms compared to those who have been vaccinated, whether it was one or two doses. “Those who have been vaccinated won’t experience symptoms of the virus, or if they do they will be mild and they will have an easier time breathing.”
Al-Abd Al-Aly added that it was important to note that the elderly or those whose immune systems were compromised might experience harsher symptoms, however they would have a greater chance of being protected by being vaccinated.
He answered the most frequently asked questions on quarantine. He explained that quarantine and isolation were mandatory for those who had mixed with others who were infected, especially if they have been in close proximity of less than 2 meters for 15 minutes or longer with neither party wearing masks.
Al-Abd Al-Aly said that quarantine became mandatory the moment a positive PCR test result was confirmed and ended after 10 days. “Within the last three days of those ten days there must be no symptoms for the quarantine period to completely end.” He also stressed the importance of people following the ten-day rule.
“Some don’t wait for the ten days to end if they don’t have any symptoms and socialize with others. This is incorrect, symptoms can be delayed by five days. Following quarantine regulations is a vital command that must be followed. Breaking the rules and socializing before it is confirmed the person is no longer infected is very dangerous for others’ lives and health,” he said.
On the new and approved vaccine Moderna, Al-Abd Al-Aly said that it had passed many tests and trials made mandatory by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. “It is a safe and well-functioning vaccine. The vaccine is now being administered after receiving its approval.”
The MOH has announced that there are 1,112 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number to 501,195. The region with the highest case count is Makkah with 260, followed by the Eastern province at 209, then Asir with 196 and Riyadh at 193. The region with the lowest case count is Al-Jouf with three.
For the currently active cases there are 10,805 — of these cases 1,418 are in critical condition. There have been 1,189 recoveries, bringing the number of those recovered to 482,414.
There have been 13 COVID-19 related mortalities within the past 24 hours and 96,616 PCR tests were administered.