Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH , Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has stopped the tracking and counting of cases of infection of coronavirus on the dashboard of its official website. The website will henceforth post instructions and guidelines in the event of noticing any symptoms instead of presenting the official daily counts of infections, Al-Watan newspaper reported.
The ministry’s decision follows an announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) about the end of the global emergency situation for COVID-19. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, recently declared an end to COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern, stressing that it does not mean the disease is no longer a global threat.
The Ministry of Health has achieved resounding success in confronting the coronavirus crisis, thanks to its proactive and outstanding efforts that won the global acclaim. These efforts included provision of free treatment for all Saudi citizens and expatriates without exception, including violators of the residency permit (iqama), as well as upgrading the capacity of all health services and facilities in intensive care units, clinics, and hospitals, apart from providing all the necessary capabilities and services in terms of medicines, vaccines, laboratories, tools and equipment within a record period of time, and mobilizing technical systems to confront the pandemic.
The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) announced that it had launched, immediately after the breakout of the coronavirus pandemic, electronic initiatives and services that had contributed significantly to controlling the crisis and mitigating its health damage. These included the Saudi Covid-19 Index, which was made jointly by SDAIA and the Ministry of Health and that sought to analyze and anticipate the spread of coronavirus using artificial intelligence techniques and advanced statistical analyses, and helped at that time detection of the first coronavirus infection in the kingdom.
The Saudi COVID-19 Index has been instrumental in supporting decision-makers by anticipating events and forming an accurate future view of the pandemic’s development and spread in the Kingdom, studying the absorptive capacities of the health sector and anticipating future needs for health resources in short and long terms.
The role of Tawakkalna application, which is the official Saudi Contact Tracing Application approved by the Ministry of Health, was significant, in preventing the spread of coronavirus and verifying or providing proof of an individual’s vaccination status and showing current infection, or history of infection. The app, which was developed by the National Information Center, provides instant and live information about the number of coronavirus infections in the Kingdom.
The app has been instrumental in carrying out a record number of 97 million verifications and 400 million daily transactions. The number of the app users, including individuals and sectors, reached 31 million, and as many as 40 government agencies are participating with the app. It has undertaken 190 local and international initiatives. The app also helped holding 39,000 remote meetings with 309,000 participants, and there are 22 languages supported by the app.