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Saudi Arabia Tops G20 Countries in PCR Testing

Saudi Arabia Tops G20 Countries in PCR Testing

Monday, 25 October, 2021 - 08:00
A Saudi health worker prepares to collect a swab sample for PCR test at the drive-through testing center at King Abdulaziz University. (AP)

Saudi Arabia topped the G20 in the COVID-19 test index by completing more than 30 million PCR tests, helping limit the spread of the pandemic globally.

The Ministry of Health said that the Kingdom also ranked first among G20 states in terms of the speed in revealing the results of the COVID-19 medical tests that in turn help support preventive measures.

It also came first in terms of expanded tests policies, which indicates the ease of accessibility for all citizens and residents.

In addition, Saudi Arabia exceeded all G20 countries in terms of positive growth ratio, which improved with the procedure rate indicators for each positive case, effectively controlling the pandemic.

The Health Ministry said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) had recommended expanding COVID-19 testing due to its importance in early detection of infections and limiting the spread of the disease.

Speaking at a press briefing on the outbreak on Sunday, Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Abdulali said studies and research have confirmed that the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine might decrease with time, noting that a booster shot can enhance immunity.

He announced that booster jab is available for people over 18 and those who got the second dose of the vaccine at least six months ago.

Saudi Arabia has administered over 45,200,000 COVID vaccines so far in more than 587 vaccination centers throughout the Kingdom.

Over 24 million people in the Kingdom, amounting to 68.1 percent of the population, received the first dose, while more than 21 million, 59.8 percent, have received two doses.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 47 new virus cases in the Kingdom, meaning 548,252 people have now contracted the disease. Of the total, 79 remain in critical condition.

The Ministry also announced two new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the tally to 8,778. It said 36 patients had recovered from COVID-19, raising the total to 537,282.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the validity of visit visas issued for people from countries facing a COVID-19 travel ban will be extended until November 30. The extension will be made automatically without extra charges.

The Ministry clarified that the decision includes holders of visit visas that expired during the suspension of direct entry to Saudi Arabia from these countries following the outbreak of the pandemic.

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