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Saudi Arabia to lift travel ban on Indians from December 1

Revokes 14-day stay outside the country, but spending 5 days in quarantine, irrespective of the vaccination status, will be a must.

November 26, 2021 / 09:02 AM IST
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Representative Image



Saudi Arabia has lifted the travel ban on people from India and five more nations effective from December 1, and allowed direct entry for fully vaccinated expatriates, revoking the mandatory 14-day quarantine outside the country.


The Saudi interior ministry has, however, maintained that a five-day quarantine was a must for the entrants, irrespective of their vaccination status, with all measures subject to constant evaluation by the country’s health authorities. The other five countries it listed are Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt and Indonesia.


The kingdom had earlier this year banned entrants from Lebanon, the UAE, Egypt, Turkey, the US, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan, South Africa, India, Indonesia, and Japan to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, diplomats, medical staff, and their families were maintained as exceptions.


The ban also applied to travellers who transited through any of these 20 countries within 14 days before a planned visit to Saudi.

While flights to and from Saudi Arabia were first suspended on March 14, 2020, travel by land, sea and air resumed on January 3, 2021.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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first published: Nov 26, 2021 09:02 am
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