KSA coronavirus deaths now at 16

Updated 26 May 2013
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KSA coronavirus deaths now at 16

JEDDAH: One of the patients being treated at a hospital in Al-Ahsa for coronavirus infection has died, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 16, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.
In a statement posted on its website, the MOH the latest fatality was "suffering from chronic heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure, in addition to kidney failure."
On a brighter note, the MOH said one of the health workers who was being treated for the infection has recovered and released from the hospital.
Saudi Arabia remains the center for the new respiratory virus as investigators from the World Health Organization (WHO) seek more clues about its origins and how it is spread.
Known as novel coronavirus, or nCoV, the new virus is from the same family as those that cause common colds and the one that caused the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that emerged in Asia in 2003.
Since September 2012, the WHO has been informed of 41 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, of which 21 people have died.
Apart from Saudi Arabia, nCov cases were also found in France, Germany, Britain, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Of those infected in Saudi Arabia, two were health workers who caught the virus from patients in their care — the first evidence of such transmission within a hospital, the WHO earlier said.
Most of the infections in the kingdom were in Al-Ahsa and a few were reported in Jeddah and Riyadh, said the MOH.
The latest to be diagnosed in the kingdom with nCov was an 81-year-old woman, who taken ill on April 28, 2013 and is currently in critical but stable condition.
A WHO statement, quoting a Saudi MOH report, said the patient has multiple coexisting medical conditions.

— Additional input from The Associated Press


Visit to Pakistan, India and China proves strategic for Saudi Arabia

Updated 24 February 2019
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Visit to Pakistan, India and China proves strategic for Saudi Arabia

  • Benefits of three-country tour include billions in economic deals as well as security initiatives

JEDDAH: The three-country tour of Asia by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that came to a close this weekend was an economic and strategic success, experts say.

“Saudi Arabia might be seen by some as moving to the East,” Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), told Arab News. “The correct way to put it is that it’s spreading its wings East and West.

“Economic diversification requires strategic diversification. This should not be seen in any way as Saudi Arabia giving the cold shoulder to its most trusted allies, specifically the US,” he said. “And as Joseph Parry said: ‘Make new friends but keep the old; those are silver, these are gold.’”

The tour, which saw Saudi Arabia’s crown prince warmly welcomed by the leaders of Pakistan, India and China, is in line with the crown prince’s Vision 2030, which plans to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy that relies on crude oil exports into a vibrant, diversified economy. The tour resulted in billions of dollars in economic deals as well as initiatives to increase security and combat terrorism.

“Saudi Arabia is the one and only country that can take the leadership position on the global efforts of combating terrorism, specifically in the ideological front,” Al-Ansari said.

Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and international relations scholar, said that China and Saudi Arabia have the same goals of security and stability. “China shares the Kingdom’s concerns and it knows that our continent has suffered from terrorism issues and international interventions and also troubles in the region.”

The two countries also improved on their mutually beneficial economic ties. As Al-Shehri pointed out: “China needs a huge energy source, and Saudi Arabia is one of these sources that can provide China with energy.”

One significant deal is the $10 billion refining and petrochemical complex, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Norinco, to be developed in the Chinese city of Panjin.

Also of great geopolitical significance is the $10-billion oil-refinery in Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, as it is one of the most important parts of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative, Al-Shehri said. “Global players are willing to invest in this project. The Kingdom’s investment in this field will serve Pakistan and will benefit the Kingdom as well as the (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).”

And despite its historical relationship with Pakistan, Al-Shehri said that the Kingdom also found common ground with India. For instance, the two countries agreed to set up a working group on counter-terrorism. 

“India shares the Kingdom’s concern about instability in the seas, such as the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. These are all places of global trade,” Al-Shehri said, adding that he hopes the Kingdom will play a role in resolving border points of contention between Pakistan and India as it did between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

It wasn’t all just business. The crown prince’s tour included some other announcements, including that 2,100 Pakistani and 850 Indian prisoners will be released from the Kingdom’s jails, that the Chinese language will be introduced in the Saudi school curriculum and that Saudi Arabia will soon host several concerts featuring major Bollywood performers.

The crown prince also called for the creation of a health center in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province dedicated to the memory of a Pakistani hero who saved 14 lives in Jeddah’s 2009 floods.