Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia has conducted more than 28.55 million nose swab polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak, local media reported.
The PCR test for COVID-19 is a molecular test that analyses the upper respiratory specimen, looking for genetic material (ribonucleic acid or RNA) of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Scientists use PCR technology to amplify small amounts of RNA from specimens into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which is replicated until SARS-CoV-2 is detectable if present.
The test has been the gold standard test for diagnosing COVID-19 since it was authorised for use in February 2020. It’s accurate and reliable.
The Saudi Ministry of Health said the capacity of examinations across the Kingdom exceeds 130,000 per day, noting that 90 per cent of the results are issued in less than 18 hours, and that 99 per cent of the results are issued in less than 24 hours, which places the Kingdom among the top countries in the world in terms of speed and quality in this advanced type of tests.
The ministry added that the number of laboratories examining COVID-19 infection, approved by the Public Health Authority (Weqaya) is 48 in the government sector, and 75 in the private sector, indicating that the number of laboratories affiliated with the Ministry of Health is 25 laboratories with a capacity of 80,000 tests daily.
The ministry said over the past 24 hours 59 new COVID-19 infections were recorded, 78 cases recovered, while the number of critical cases reached 244.
The statistics showed the total number of infections in the Kingdom reached 546,985, while the number of recoveries was 536,28.
Five deaths were recorded, bringing the tally to 8,704, the ministry said.