Saudi to gain COVID-19 vaccine as soon as an efficient choice arrives: Health Minister

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Tawfiq Al-Rabiah
Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah stated that the Kingdom is keen to procure a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is fully assured of its safety and effectiveness.

Speaking to the regional news agency, the minister remarked that the country “is following with utmost keenness on the coronavirus vaccine research that is taking place in a number of countries, and the people’s safety is always our priority.”

“Research is being carried out in full swing in a number of countries around the world to produce a vaccine for coronavirus. We, in the Kingdom, follow with interest these vaccines, their quality and safety, and we are very keen to secure the vaccine as soon as it is fully assured of its safety and effectiveness,” Dr. Al-Rabiah added.

Highlighting results of the Kingdom’s total compliance to health precautions during the previous period, the minister of health remarked that “We are witnessing a tangible decrease in the number of cases in general and cases in intensive care units in particular, and this was achieved thanks to God and then with continuous support and great efforts from the wise leadership, which made the citizens’ health and safety a top priority.

Dr. Al-Rabiah also used the occasion to thank his fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts during the past period.

Commenting on the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases across the globe, the minister stated that “As everyone notices, a number of countries in the world are witnessing a second and strong wave of the pandemic, and one of the main reasons for this is the lack of compliance to social distancing or negligence in wearing face masks and covering nose and mouth, as well as the failure to adhere to reducing social gatherings and preventing handshakes.”

“Based on what we see in these countries as we are part of this world, any leniency on our part in taking precautions could result in an increase in infections again in the Kingdom during the coming weeks,” Dr. Al-Rabiah answered.

The minister emphasized cultivating a culture of compliance which is greatly instrumental in preventing coronavirus and limiting its spread so as to preserve the health and safety of all members of society.

“As we are in one vehicle, a failure on the part of some affects everyone, and so we must work to urge everyone to have total compliance,” the Saudi health minister added.

Dr. Al-Rabiah urged everyone who has symptoms to visit Tatman clinics, saying that there are more than 230 such clinics in all regions of the Kingdom.

“There are over 20 drive-through examination stations to serve those who do not have symptoms, or have mild symptoms, and for those who think that they have had contact with an infected person,” the minister said while calling for booking an appointment through Sihhati app. Whoever has any queries or wants to consult a physician, he or she can call 937 around the clock, Dr. Al-Rabiah appended.