JEDDAH: The coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated people in Saudi Arabia, according to the assistant deputy minister for preventive health.
“The natural immunity after infection is not sufficient in the presence of mutants,” Dr. Abdullah Mufarrih Assiri said on Friday.
“The infection is transmitted from the unvaccinated (willingly) to others who were unable to take the vaccine for medical reasons. The continued transmission between people will increase the possibility for the virus to mutate into new versions or variants that may be more fierce than their predecessors, and thus, prolong the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the Kingdom announced 14 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday bringing the national death toll to 8,311. There were 954 new infections reported as a total of 531,935 people in the country have been infected. The country had 10,237 active cases while 1,404 patients were in critical condition.
Of the new cases, 280 were recorded in Riyadh, followed by Makkah (244), the Eastern Province (170), Asir (150), Jazan (107), Madinah (59), Hail (47), Najran (41), the Northern Borders region (25), Tabuk (23), Al-Baha (21), and Al-Jouf (six).
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 513,387 after 1,014 more patients recovered from the virus.
Saudi Arabia is approaching the 30 million mark for administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 56.6 percent of the population has received the first dose while 27.6 percent are fully vaccinated.
At this rate, 70 percent of the population is expected to complete both doses by Sept. 27.
The Kingdom conducted 25,660,083 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests with 110,996 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 pandemic started last year.
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.