Saudi Arabia could see further COVID-19 restrictions due to non-compliance: Minister

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Saudi Arabia could implement further COVID-19 restrictions if people do not comply with preventative measures, Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq al-Rabiah said on Sunday amid a spike in cases.

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“We saw a significant and continuous increase in the number of coronavirus cases recently [caused by] gatherings of all kinds, if the laxity of gatherings continues and preventative measures are not implemented then we will enter the dangers of a second wave,” the minister warned in a video message.

He also added that the commitment and cooperation of all contributes to the efforts of all sectors in the Kingdom in dealing with the pandemic.

“The lack of commitment will undoubtedly make us have to take precautionary measures to protect society,” al-Rabiah said.

The health minister urged people to take the latest developments seriously and to follow all advise including wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and practicing good hygiene including washing hands and avoiding handshakes.

Saudi Arabia has seen an upward trend in recent days after having reported only 82 cases on January 3. The Kingdom had started an aggressive vaccination campaign but was forced to slow due to Pfizer delays in production and delivery.

Authorities had announced the resumption of travel would be on March 31 but on Friday pushed the date to May 17 instead due to the global delay in vaccine deliveries and in effort to avoid a second wave of the virus.

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