Saudi Arabia’s health minister warned Sunday that new coronavirus restrictions could be imposed amid an uptick in infections, as the kingdom slows the rollout of vaccines due to supply delays.
“We have seen in recent days a noticeable and continuous rise in coronavirus infections,” Tawfiq al-Rabiah said in a video message, blaming “gatherings and lax enforcement of preventative measures”.
“The lack of compliance will undoubtedly force us to introduce measures to protect society,” he added, without elaborating.
Saudi Arabia has reported more than 368,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 6,400 deaths, the highest among Gulf Arab states.
But the kingdom has also reported a high rate of recoveries, while daily infections dipped below 100 in early January from a peak of nearly 5,000 last June.
However, new daily infections have been steadily climbing in recent weeks, with 261 cases reported by the health ministry on Sunday.