Health passport not necessary for travel, Saudi government says

A post on the official Tawakalna app Twitter page read: “At the present time, a health passport is not a requirement for travel. Some countries may impose requirements related to taking the vaccine in the future”

  
A Saudi woman walks with her luggage as she arrives at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, August 5, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A Saudi woman walks with her luggage as she arrives at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, August 5, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
 
JEDDAH: The digital health passport launched by Saudi Arabia on Thursday to record an individual’s vaccinations against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is not a prerequisite for travel, the government announced on Friday.

A post on the official Tawakalna app Twitter page read: “At the present time, a health passport is not a requirement for travel. Some countries may impose requirements related to taking the vaccine in the future.”

Meanwhile, popular Saudi singer Mohammed Abdu received the COVID-19 vaccine in Jeddah on Friday, and advised everyone to get their shot as soon as possible. The 71-year-old likened the experience to receiving a regular flu shot.

Speaking to Al-Ekhbariya, Abdu said: “For every malady, there’s treatment. Allah has given us this blessing, so we ought to take it. I’ve been told that five to six thousand (people) are getting vaccinated daily, which means people are very aware of its necessity. I think the government have dealt with this crisis with abundant awareness, minimizing the damage the pandemic could have caused.”

FASTFACTS

363,582 Total cases

355,208 Recoveries

6,282 Deaths

There have been 137,862 doses of the vaccine administered in the Kingdom as of Friday.

Saudi Arabia reported four new COVID-19-related deaths on Friday. The death toll now stands at 6,282.

A total of 97 new cases were reported, meaning that 363,582 people have now contracted the disease. There are 2,092 active cases, 309 in critical condition. According to the Ministry of Health, 19 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, six in Makkah and three in Madinah.

In addition, 171 patients recovered from the virus in the 24 hours preceding the ministry’s announcement, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 355,208. Over the same period, 28,795 PCR tests were carried out, meaning Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 11,279,061 PCR tests.

The Health Ministry’s call center has reportedly received 25,491,313 calls since the start of the pandemic in the Kingdom.

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