JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rapidly increasing due to the omicron variant, with infections more than doubling in a week.
In a press conference on Sunday, Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said that many countries were witnessing a jump in COVID-19 cases, including Saudi Arabia.
He stressed the importance of receiving the necessary vaccine doses and booster shots, while also emphasizing the importance for children who were eligible to get the vaccine to come forward and do so.
Health authorities began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of five and 11 last Tuesday. Priority is being given to those who are considered vulnerable and at high risk from the virus.
The Saudi Ministry of Commerce spokesman Abdulrahman Al-Hussain announced at the same press conference what measures were required of commercial businesses to help tackle and control the spread of COVID-19.
Commercial businesses are required to implement barcodes for customers to scan on the government-approved Tawakkalna app before entering an establishment. He also stressed the importance for all small commercial businesses to check the vaccination status of customers through the app.
He added that, starting in February, people would not be allowed to enter commercial businesses without showing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination booster shot.
The Tawakkalna app was launched last year to help track COVID-19 infections. It has since been updated to include vaccination information, while also functioning as a COVID-19 passport to use within and outside the Kingdom.
Al-Abd Al-Aly urged people to follow preventative measures such as wearing face masks, washing their hands, and self-quarantine for those people showing symptoms.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 389 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and one new COVID-19-related death while 124 more patients had recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours..
The ministry, which has 587 vaccine centers throughout the Kingdom, urged people who had not yet had a jab to register through its Sehhaty app to get one. It also renewed calls for the public to adhere to precautionary measures.
Testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have helped millions of people since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for people who show no or mild symptoms, or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual.
Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments for either service can be made through Sehhaty.