Saudi Ara­bia’s virus rate ‘fluc­tu­at­ing,’ health ex­perts warn

Min­istry calls for care as in­fec­tion curve rises after cur­fews lifted

Arab News - - News Saudi Arabia - Jed­dah

Saudi Ara­bia’s COVID-19 in­fec­tion rate is fluc­tu­at­ing a week after a na­tion­wide lift­ing of cur­fews, health au­thor­i­ties warned.

Health Min­istry spokesman Dr. Mo­hammed Al-Abd Al-Aly told a press con­fer­ence on Sun­day that the in­fec­tion curve is ris­ing again and urged peo­ple to fol­low med­i­cal ad­vice to limit the spread of the ill­ness.

He said that the in­fec­tion rate, or R num­ber, in the King­dom is now be­tween 1 and 1.5, but is fluc­tu­at­ing. If the R num­ber is greater than one, the in­fec­tion will spread ex­po­nen­tially, Al-Aly warned. “Coun­tries are ad­vised (by ex­perts) to keep the value be­low one in or­der for the in­fec­tion to slowly die out,” he added.

The R num­ber refers to the num­ber of peo­ple each in­fected per­son will pass the virus on to on av­er­age. Al-Aly said that 68 per­cent of COVID-19 cases in Saudi Ara­bia have re­cov­ered from the ill­ness.

The min­istry an­nounced 2,627 new COVID-19 re­cov­er­ies in the past 24 hours, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber in the King­dom to 124,755. A to­tal of 3,989 new cases were re­ported na­tion­wide, mean­ing 182,493 peo­ple have now con­tracted the dis­ease. Of these, 56,187 are ac­tive cases, with 2,277 in se­ri­ous or crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

The King­dom recorded 40 new coro­n­avirus-re­lated deaths on Thurs­day, rais­ing the to­tal to 1,551. “Crit­i­cal cases are con­sid­ered a high num­ber, but re­main set­tled in re­cent days. How­ever, they are re­lated to cases that have con­tracted the dis­ease in the past weeks,” Al-Aly said.

The min­istry has car­ried out 1,608,025 poly­merase chain re­ac­tion tests since the virus out­break in the coun­try.

Ab­dul­lah Al-Gwiz­ani, CEO of the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, said that the cen­ter has de­vel­oped and pub­lished 40 health pro­to­cols, in­clud­ing pre­ven­tive mea­sures for in­sti­tu­tions and sec­tors across the King­dom. “These pro­to­cols were for­mu­lated in three stages — first, un­der­stand­ing the needs and as­sess­ing the risks; then study­ing the best global ex­pe­ri­ences; and, fi­nally, draft­ing and pub­lish­ing the pro­to­cols,” he said.

“How­ever, these pro­to­cols can­not be ef­fec­tive and save the com­mu­nity if not im­ple­mented by all.”

FASTFACTS

The to­tal num­ber of coro­n­avirus cases in KSA reached 182,493.

The to­tal num­ber of re­cov­er­ies in the King­dom reached 124,755.

SPA

Se­cu­rity of­fi­cials im­ple­ment pre­cau­tion­ary health and safety mea­sures to pre­vent the spread of the virus.

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