Saudi Arabia marks drop in COVID-19 infections after daily count neared 6,000

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reported on Thursday 5,591 COVID-19 cases and two new deaths confirmed in 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health.

This brings the total deaths caused by the virus to 8,914, while the critical case count on Thursday rose to 540 from 492 on Wednesday.

Case numbers have been climbing rapidly in recent weeks as the more-transmissible omicron variant spreads globally.

Saudi Arabia recorded its first omicron case in early December, thought to have come from an undisclosed north African country. The total number of cases in the Kingdom has now reached 638,327.

Meanwhile, 5,238 individuals have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in contrast to 4,981 on Wednesday, adding to the total recovery tally of 584,050.

So far, the Kingdom has administered 54,596,890 vaccine doses. Health authorities continue with the Kingdom’s vaccination plan in an effort to get the majority of the population vaccinated.

On Tuesday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization chief said that the pandemic is “nowhere near over,” cautioning against a narrative that the fast-spreading omicron variant is risk-free.

In recent weeks, the Kingdom introduced new COVID-19 restrictions and fines of $266 (1,000 Saudi riyal) for those who break social distancing rules, and $266,000 (100,000 riyal) for repeat offenders.

Social distancing is required at Mecca’s Grand Mosque and other public places. Masks are also required in public places, indoors and outdoors.

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