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No New Critical COVID-19 Cases in Saudi Arabia, New Vaccination Center in Makkah

No New Critical COVID-19 Cases in Saudi Arabia, New Vaccination Center in Makkah

Thursday, 18 February, 2021 - 09:45
Saudi citizen receiving the coronavirus vaccine in Umm al-Qura center, Makkah (SPA)

Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday that no new critical COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the Kingdom, as the number of infections stabilized after the implementation of a number of strict measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The Ministry of Health announced 334 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 373,702 infections in the Kingdom, with 2,611 current active cases, of which 480 are in intensive care.

In addition, 349 recovered increasing the total number of recoveries to 364,646, and four new COVID-19-related fatalities were reported, upping the death toll to 6,445.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporarily closed eight mosques in four regions following reports of coronavirus cases among worshipers and mosque employees, bringing the total to 87 mosques closed within 10 days, 70 of which were reopened after the completion of sterilization.

In addition, authorities closed 786 establishments for violating precautionary measures, including failure to check visitors’ temperatures, lax disinfection and cleaning of shopping carts before and after use, as well as non-compliance with regulations such as wearing masks or using posters to ensure a safe distance between shoppers.

Meanwhile, health authorities announced that new vaccination centers will open soon to include all regions of the Kingdom, in continuation of the efforts to preserve the health and safety of citizens and residents and curb the spread of the virus.

It urged those who wish to receive coronavirus vaccine to register for appointments available through the ministry’s “Sehhaty” application.

The ministry announced a new vaccine center capable of receiving about 4,000 persons has been launched in Makkah’s Umm al-Qura University, the first of five planned for the city.

The Director-General of Health Affairs in Makkah, Dr. Wael Mutair stated that the plan is also to expand to 11 centers in the region.

The spokesman of health affairs in the Makkah region Hamad al-Otaibi, stated that about 100 persons were vaccinated in Umm al-Qura University on the first day, indicating that the number will gradually double during the coming days to 2,000 per day.

He explained that the center began gradual operation through six tracks with a capacity for 4,000 people, adding that inoculations will be held during the evening shift in the current week and the center will operate during the morning and evening shifts from next week onwards.

Furthermore, Gulf countries began issuing a digital COVID-19 vaccine passport, with Bahrain becoming one of the first countries in the world to launch this service.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is partnering with Emirates and Etihad airlines to become among the first airlines in the world to trial IATA Travel Pass that asserts the passenger conforms with state requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccine information.

The state-owned Etihad said the travel pass will be offered on selected flights from Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of 2021.

Etihad added that the pass would give passengers control of their data, making it easy and secure for them to identify and verify their test results with airlines and travel authorities.

Emirates Airlines will implement the initial phase in April when customers traveling from Dubai will be able to share their COVID-19 test results directly with the airline through the application.

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