RIYADH: The COVID-19 delta variant has been reported among the Kingdom’s new cases, the Ministry of Health confirmed Sunday.
The ministry’s spokesman said that authorities were continuing to monitor and control measures for all types of the virus through genetic sequencing carried out in specialist laboratories and the Public Health Authority.
“The delta variant is the most worrying type of COVID-19 due to its rapid spread,” said Dr. Mohammad Al-Abd Al-Aly. “At the beginning of the pandemic, the virus was transmitted from one person to another, while this variant is capable of infecting six to seven other people.”
He said that 60 percent of COVID-19 cases reported in the Kingdom were female, and he urged everyone aged 18 and over to take the vaccine and complete their immunization course.
“A single dose of the vaccine is not sufficient to counter the delta variant, while two doses proved their efficacy against all variants of the virus.”
The Kingdom recorded 13 new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,412.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 542 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 538,525 people have now contracted the disease.
Of the total number of cases, 7,063 remain active and 1,356 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 168, followed by Makkah with 85, the Eastern Province with 62, Asir recorded 48, and Jazan confirmed 46 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,041 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 523,050.
Over 31.6 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date through 587 centers.
The ministry renewed its call on the public to register with the Sehhaty app to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, police in the Eastern Province said they arrested 187 people for flouting quarantine rules 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 reentry.
The Ministry of Interior reported 22,158 from Aug. 8 to 14, with the highest recorded in Riyadh with 7,350, followed by the Eastern Province with 3,329, Madinah with 2,486, and Makkah with 1,951. Najran recorded the lowest number of violations with 77.
The municipality of the Eastern Province carried out 9,036 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities in the past week, identifying 62 violations.
The Northern Borders Province’s Municipality issued fines to 20 commercial establishments for violating preventive measures, during 400 monitoring rounds carried out in the week.
Officials have urged the public to report any suspected health breaches by phoning the 940 call center number or using the Balady app.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened two mosques in the Eastern Province 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 2,004 within 190 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 207 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.37 million.