Saudi Arabia detects first case of COVID-19 Omicron variant in Kingdom

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday said a case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant was detected in the Kingdom in a citizen coming from a North African country, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

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The infected citizen and his contacts were isolated, and the approved health procedures were completed. An epidemiological investigation was conducted, the press agency said.

The Kingdom’s Ministry of Health “stressed the need for all members of society to complete receiving [COVID-19] vaccine doses and to adhere to all precautionary measures, preventive measures and approved protocols, as well as the importance of those coming from traveling to adhere to the instructions related to quarantine and laboratory examination for their safety and the safety of all,” SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday suspended flights coming to and from Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Comoros due to the outbreak of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, according to SPA.

The Kingdom also suspended entry of non-Saudis who come directly or indirectly from the above countries, except for those who have spent a period of no less than fourteen days in another country whose health procedures comply with Saudi Arabia’s rules regarding entry to the country in accordance with the approved health procedures, SPA reported.

The emergence of COVID-19 variants is the result of not achieving health-related goals, individuals not getting vaccinated, and severe laxity in precautions, the official spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health said on Sunday.

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The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses given in the Kingdom has reached 47 million, where over 22.3 million people have been vaccinated, the spokesman said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) labeled the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529, which was first reported in South Africa on November 24, as “Omicron.”

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