11 fresh MERS cases in Kingdom in November

Members of the Health Department in Al-Dawadmi, Riyadh region, offer advice to a child during an awareness campaign and prevention on MERS coronavirus in this August 2016 file photo. (SPA)
Updated 22 November 2016
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11 fresh MERS cases in Kingdom in November

JEDDAH: Eleven new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the Kingdom have been confirmed during the month of November, raising the total number of cases to 1,486 since 2012, Ministry of Health records show.
The figure of total MERS-CoV deaths in the Kingdom has remained at 616, while 856 have fully recovered and 14 are still under treatment.
The latest case, reported in the ministry’s MERS bulletin on Sunday, is a 59-year-old Saudi woman from the Najran region, who was listed in critical condition and confined in hospital. No other details were mentioned, except that the patient had no pre-existing illness.
On Friday, three new cases were reported, including a 29-year-old man from Alzulfi, Riyadh region; a 34-year-old man from Arar, Northern Borders region; and a 53-year-old male expatriate based in Buqayq, Eastern Province.
The other new cases were three women (from Hafr Al-Batin in the Eastern Province, Afif in Riyadh region and in Najran region) and five men from Hafr Al-Batin, Eastern Province; Al Aflaj, Riyadh; Afif, Riyadh; Tabuk region; Al-Kharj, Riyadh region and Bahrah, Makkah region). All of the other new cases were Saudis, and a 58-year-old female expat in Najran region.


Website launched to support housing project in Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Housing are working together to provide the necessary services for citizens from different social classes. (SPA)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Website launched to support housing project in Saudi Arabia

  • Real estate financing for January hit SR4.7 billion, and coming months were expected to see even bigger figures, Al-Hogail told Reuters news agency on the sidelines of a housing conference in Riyadh

RIYADH: A new website has been set up to support a housing project for 10,000 units in the Kingdom.
Housing Minister Majid Al-Hogail, and Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi on Sunday launched Benaa Housing, which will help construction companies and contractors contribute to a development program in the Kingdom.
Benaa Housing aims to speed up the process of building 10,000 housing units in various parts of Saudi Arabia by enabling small and medium enterprises in the construction sector to access and contribute to projects and opportunities. The estimated cost of the project is SR3.5 billion ($910 million).
“The Ministry of Housing is always keen to provide adequate housing, solutions, and services suitable to all families, especially the beneficiaries of the Housing Development Program in all regions of the Kingdom,” Al-Hogail said.
Al-Qassabi said the new platform would generate more business opportunities for small and medium enterprises and provide suitable apartments for middle-class and lower-income families.
“The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Housing are working together to provide the necessary services for citizens from different social classes and groups, and the new platform is the fruit of these efforts,” he added.
Earlier this month, the housing minister said he expected investments in the real estate financing sector to reach between SR60 billion and SR80 billion this year.
Real estate financing for January hit SR4.7 billion, and coming months were expected to see even bigger figures, Al-Hogail told Reuters news agency on the sidelines of a housing conference in Riyadh.
Saudi home ownership was growing between 6 and 7 percent annually, he said, adding that he hoped to raise home ownership to 15,000 new households per month by 2020, from a little over 10,000 per month now.
The ministry aims to increase housing ownership through policy and stimulating the private sector, according to its website.
The challenges facing the ministry are the limited availability of suitable units for all parts of the population; difficulty in accessing adequate housing finance; the inefficiency of the real estate sector and heavy reliance on government funding.
“Even though 47 percent of Saudi families already own their homes, we aim to increase this rate by 5 percentage points by 2020,” the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan states. Vision 2030 also aims to speed up construction and provide Saudis with high-quality, competitively priced housing, and to stimulate localization of the country’s construction industry.