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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 24 May 2024 12.24 PM IST

Rapid spread of COVID variant in Saudi Arabia; Health Department issues warning 

covid

RIYADH: The public health authority in Saudi Arabia has reported a rapid spread of the COVID variant JN-1 within the country. Currently, the virus spread rate stands at 36 percent. Despite this, there hasn't been an increase in the number of people requiring intensive care unit treatment. The health authority has reassured the public that this situation doesn't constitute a new epidemic and no immediate need for restrictions has been advised.

Concurrently, Saudi Arabia has launched a pioneering digital platform, "Saudi Visa," through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This platform aims to grant various visas - including those for Hajj, Umrah, tourism and business visits - within an impressive 60-second window upon submission. This initiative reflects the country's commitment to digital development.

Previously, the visa application process used to take up to 45 days. With the implementation of the "Saudi Visa" portal, this prolonged duration has been drastically reduced to just one minute. The platform offers a smart search engine for visa type understanding and necessary guidance. Additionally, applicants can create personal profiles for future, hassle-free visa submissions.

Minister Abdul Hadi Al Mansouri highlighted the use of artificial intelligence and related technologies to meticulously examine application information within the new system. Despite the concerning spread of the JN-1 COVID variant, Saudi health authorities emphasize that the current situation doesn't warrant new epidemic status and restrictions are not deemed necessary.

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TAGS: SAUDI, ARABIA, COVID, HEALTH, WARNING, HEALTHM, DEPARTMENT, JN1
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