JEDDAH: Saudi health officials are urging people to get vaccinated as recent studies have shown that being double jabbed cuts the risk of long COVID by half, in addition to it being a key factor in preventing new infections.
At Sunday’s press conference, Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said authorities were continuing to follow up with recovered patients and were also monitoring the recoveries suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus, lasting weeks or months after the onset of infection.
“The studies have shown that 10-30 percent of recoveries suffer from lasting symptoms of long COVID and the studies further support authorities’ call to get the vaccine,” said the spokesman.
The study referred to was from researchers affiliated with King’s College London, analyzing over 1 million participants between Dec. 2020 and July of this year. The study included 1.2 million adults vaccinated with only one dose and more than 970 with double doses.
The results found that the odds of suffering from long COVID was significantly lower after two jabs. The study also showed that double jabs cut patients’ odds of needing hospitalization for COVID-19 by 73 percent.
More than 38 million vaccine doses have been administered in Saudi Arabia, at a rate of 206,422 a day. So far, 44 percent of the Kingdom’s 34.8 million population have completed their vaccinations.
Saudi Arabia’s daily coronavirus case count is around 100, an 87.8 percent decline from the nearly 1,000 cases recorded on Aug. 5.
It reported 120 new infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 545,243. The last time the Kingdom recorded such numbers was on Jan. 6, with 118 cases.
Of Sunday’s cases, 35 were in Riyadh, 22 were in Makkah and 14 were in the Eastern Province. Baha recorded just one new infection.
There were 219 recoveries reported, raising the total to 534,062. There are 2,602 active cases, of which 723 are in critical care. Seven people have died in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 8,579.
There have been 47,732 PCR tests in the past 24 hours, bringing this total to 27.7 million.
Authorities are continuing their monitoring campaigns to ensure compliance with the precautionary measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
They recorded 23,280 violations in one week, according to figures from the Ministry of Interior.
The statistics indicated that the region of Riyadh recorded the highest number with 8,805 violations, followed by the Eastern Province (2,405), Hail (2,191), Madinah (2,125), Makkah (1,939), Qassim (1,778), Jouf (1,467), the Northern Borders (729), Tabuk (585), Asir (485), Jazan (329), Baha (245), and Najran (197).
The municipality of Jeddah carried out 9,890 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities in three days, identifying 94 violations.
Authorities closed 68 commercial outlets for breaching protocols.
The Eastern Province municipality also carried out 9,778 inspection tours in one week in shopping malls, commercial centers and stores. It issued penalties to 555 businesses for ignoring health regulations.
The violations included noncompliance with social distancing and mask-wearing, leniency in measuring the temperature of customers, overcrowding issues, and a failure to effectively use the Tawakkalna app.
The app was launched last year to help track COVID-19 cases and has been updated to show vaccination information, including an individual’s status, such as vaccinated or infected. It now functions as a “COVID-19 passport.”
Municipalities urged all commercial facilities to abide by regulations to ensure public safety and prevent the spread of the disease.
Authorities have urged members of the public to report any suspected health breaches by phoning the 940 call center number or by contacting authorities through the Balady app.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 221 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.57 million.