Saudi Arabia opens borders to vaccinated tourists

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 4.19 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse on Thursday, July 29. The United States is the country with the most deaths (over 612,000), ahead of Brazil (554,000) and India (422,000).

white and red airplane on airport
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In addition, more than 4 billion doses of vaccine against Covid-19 have been administered across the world.

The United Arab Emirates is the country of more than 1 million people to have administered the most doses compared to its population, with 168 doses – including the first and second injection – per 100 inhabitants. In the Emirates, nearly 70% of the population is fully vaccinated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to the disease, that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than that which is officially established.

Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that it will reopen its borders from 1is August to vaccinated foreign tourists, after a 17-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the national news agency said. Riyadh, however, did not announce the lifting of restrictions on the Omra pilgrimage, which attracts millions of Muslims from around the world each year.

Travelers fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by Saudi authorities (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) will be able to enter the kingdom “Without having to respect quarantine”, if they show a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours, the agency said.

Saudi Arabia, which has invested billions in the tourism industry to diversify its oil economy, issued its first tourist visas in 2019. Between September 2019 and the border closures in March 2020, it issued 400,000 tourist visas .

The UK warned the UN Security Council on Thursday that half of the Burmese population, or around 27 million people, could be infected with Covid-19 within the next two weeks. The country had called for a meeting in response to what it called the situation “Desperate” in Burma, where the army carried out a coup in February.

The UK urged the Council to ensure that Resolution 2565, which calls for ceasefires in conflict areas to allow delivery of coronavirus vaccines, is respected in Burma.

Burma has been in turmoil since the junta took power, with many hospitals not equipped to cope with the influx of cases, after many medical staff left their posts to protest the coup of state. The UN estimates that only 40% of health facilities in Burma are still functional.

The Algerian Audiovisual Authority (ARAV) urged the media to “Avoid focusing excessively on negative news” in their coverage of the health crisis, at a time when Algeria is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases and a shortage of oxygen.

In a statement, she invited the heads of the television channels on Wednesday evening to “Carry out their missions towards viewers, avoiding focusing excessively on negative news and tragic stories linked to the Covid-19 contamination”.