Saudi Arabia suspends all flights because of COVID-19’s Omicron variant.
Twitter accounts have recently shared a video clip claiming that it was taken from a news broadcast by a Saudi channel. The broadcast contained information that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had decided to suspend all passenger flights for a week. The claim tied the news broadcast to COVID-19’s Omicron variant and the recent measures announced by the Kingdom.
Misbar’s team investigated the circulated claim and found that it was misleading. The news was broadcast much earlier than claimed: in Dec. 2020. At the time, Saudi Arabia announced that it had suspended all flights because of the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
The claim started being circulated following Saudi Arabia’s most recent measures to combat COVID-19’s new Omicron variant. The country’s ministry of interior also updated the list of red, yellow, and green countries because of the news surge in infections around the world.
The World Health Organization had classified the Omicron variant as a “variant of concern” because of its multiple mutations that increase the risk of infection and its resistance to vaccines.
Translated by Ahmed N. A. Almassri