- Saudi Arabia has recorded 549,000 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began, with 8,836 of them fatal.
- According to a health ministry official, Saudi Arabia has recorded the Gulf’s 1st confirmed case of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 in a citizen back from North Africa.
The strain, which was 1st reported in South Africa but has since been found to have been present earlier in Europe, has moved governments all over the world to reimpose travel restrictions, despite World Health Organization warnings that this may cause more harm than good.
“One case of the Omicron variant was detected in the kingdom; it was a citizen from a North African country,” a ministry official told the state-run SPA news agency. “He has been isolated, as have his contacts, and all necessary health precautions have been taken.”
Saudi Arabia postponed flights from seven southern African countries last week, mirroring similar moves by other governments, but travel to and from North Africa has not been affected.
From October, the kingdom had begun to lift some of the remaining restrictions imposed early in the pandemic, allowing worshippers at Muslim holy sites to resume praying shoulder to shoulder.
Saudi Arabia has recorded 549,000 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began, with 8,836 of them fatal. In the kingdom, which must have a population of nearly 35 million people, more than 47 million doses of the Covid vaccine have been administered.
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