MoH designates March 2 as ‘Health Martyr Day’

March 03, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH – The Ministry of Health announced that it has designated March 2 every year as the Health Martyr Day. The day marks registration of the first case of coronavirus in Saudi Arabia by the Ministry of Health on March 2, 2020.

The Kingdom will observe the day as Health Martyr Day in recognition of the significant role played by the healthcare heroes, who devoted their lives to their work and sacrificed themselves to preserve the health of citizens and expatriates.

“This humanitarian gesture comes in gratitude, honor and a tribute from the Ministry of Health for what they have offered as it will provide psychological and social support to the families of the health martyrs,” the ministry said.

The first infected person in the Kingdom was a Saudi citizen who came from Iran via Bahrain. After registration of the first case of coronavirus, the infection curve recorded a steady increase in the following months, reaching 1132 infections on April 17.

The infection curve continued to jump, reaching 4,919 infections on June 16, which is the highest number of infection ever since the outbreak of the pandemic.

In the following months, the infection curve gradually descended, reaching 82 cases on Jan. 2 this year. However, cases began to rise again at an average of 350 cases, as a result of laxity in application of the precautionary measures.

The first case of recovery from coronavirus was recorded in the Kingdom on March 11, 2020, and that was nine days after the first infection was recorded, and then the curve of recovery began to rise, reaching 7,718 cases of recovery on July 16.

That was the highest number recorded since the start of the pandemic. During the following months, the curve fluctuated between descending and ascending, reaching an average of 300 daily recoveries during February 2021.

Saudi Arabia launched the COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Dec. 17, 2020, after the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) approved the registration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and priority was given to three categories: people over the age of 65; those suffering from chronic diseases, and those whose nature of work requires being on the front lines to confront the epidemic just like workers in the health sector.

The first vaccination center was opened in Riyadh and later centers were opened in Jeddah, Dammam, Madinah and Makkah.

With the second phase of the vaccination that started on Feb. 18, citizens and expatriates are receiving free vaccine shots in all regions of the Kingdom. Oxford-AstraZeneca, the second vaccine that was approved by SFDA, is also being administered at these centers.

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