Saudi Arabia to secure coronavirus vaccine only after ensuring safety: Health minister

COVID-19 cases may rise if precautionary measures ignored: Al-Rabiah

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia is keen to secure the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine as soon as it is fully assured of its safety and effectiveness, said Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday.

“The Kingdom is following with utmost keenness on the coronavirus vaccine research that is taking place in a number of countries, and the people’s safety is always our priority,” the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting the minister as saying.

“Research is being carried out in full swing in a number of countries around the world to produce a vaccine for coronavirus. We, in the Kingdom, follow with interest these vaccines, their quality and safety, and we are very keen to secure the vaccine as soon as it is fully assured of its safety and effectiveness,” he said.

Al-Rabiah said Saudi Arabia is currently reaping the fruits of its total compliance to health precautions during the previous period. “We are witnessing a tangible decrease in the number of cases in general and cases in intensive care units in particular, and this was achieved thanks to God and then with continuous support and great efforts from the wise leadership, which made the citizens’ health and safety a top priority,” he said while thanking his fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts during the past period.

The minister continued: “As everyone notices, a number of countries in the world are witnessing a second and strong wave of the pandemic, and one of the main reasons for this is the lack of compliance to social distancing or negligence in wearing face masks and covering nose and mouth, as well as the failure to adhere to reducing social gatherings and preventing handshakes.”

“Based on what we see in these countries as we are part of this world, any leniency on our part in taking precautions could result in an increase in infections again in the Kingdom during the coming weeks,” he said.

The minister also underlined the need to contribute to spreading the culture of compliance which is greatly instrumental in preventing coronavirus and limiting its spread so as to preserve the health and safety of all members of society.

“As we are in one vehicle, a failure on the part of some affects everyone, and so we must work to urge everyone to have total compliance,” he said.

Dr. Al-Rabiah urged everyone who has symptoms visit Tatman clinics, saying that there are more than 230 such clinics in all regions of the Kingdom.

“There are over 20 drive-through examination stations to serve those who do not have symptoms, or have mild symptoms, and for those who think that they have had contact with an infected person,” the minister said while calling for booking an appointment through Sihhati app. Whoever has any queries or wants to consult a physician, he or she can call 937 around the clock, he added.


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