Concern over new strain of the Covid-19 virus prompted decision to suspend all international flights for a week
Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for one week in light of mounting concern over a new strain of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in several countries.
The measure is extendable for another week, or until medical information about the nature of the new virus becomes clear.
Exceptions from the ban include international flights that were in the country as of 20 December.
The ban also applies to entry of passengers to the kingdom through land and sea ports, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said.
The new measures include a two-week home isolation for anyone “who has returned from one of the European countries or any country where the new strain has appeared after 8 December”.
The same individuals are required to take a Covid-1 9 test and retake the test every five days.
Anyone who has returned from or passed through a European country, or any country where the new strain has appeared, during the past three months, is also required to take a Covid-19 test.
The statement added that the movement of goods, commodities and supply chains from countries where the new strain of the virus has not appeared are excluded from these new measures.
As of 20 December, Saudi Arabia has confirmed 360,848 cases of Covid-19, with 351,722 recoveries and 6,112 deaths.
The number of Covid-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa region has crossed 4,084,481, according to Worldometers data collated by MEED.
Saudi Arabia's Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah received a Covid-19 vaccination on 17 December in Riyadh. The kingdom is accepting registrations from individuals who would like to be inoculated.
Vaccination drives begin across the Mena region as total case tally approaches 4.1 million-mark
The number of Covid-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region crossed 4,084,481 on 20 December, according to Worldometers data collated by MEED.
Countries in the GCC account for 26 per cent (1,059,966) of all regional cases, while Iran's 1,152,072 infections comprise 28.2 per cent of the Mena total.
Several regional countries have kicked off vaccination drives as more doses of the Covid-19 jab become available globally.
Saudi Arabia's Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah received the vaccine on 17 December in Riyadh. The kingdom is accepting registrations from individuals who would like to be inoculated.
To date, Saudi Arabia has confirmed 360,848 cases of Covid-19, with 351,722 recoveries and 6,112 deaths.
Vaccination efforts are also under way in Egypt, where 124,891 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed so far, with 106,481 recoveries and 7,069 deaths.
Egypt expects to have 500,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of December 2020, with 5,400 health units expected to distribute it in January.
The country will also obtain 20 million doses from vaccine alliance Gavi.
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