MERS strikes KSA, S. Korea

Updated 04 June 2015

MERS strikes KSA, S. Korea

RIYADH: An expatriate died and two Saudis were infected with the MERS coronavirus in Huraymala and Hofuf respectively, said the Health Ministry on Tuesday.
The deceased expat male worker was 41, while the two infected Saudi men are 54 and 50.
Since June 2012, the number of MERS cases has reached 1,016 — 562 recoveries, 447 deaths and seven under treatment in the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, two people died of MERS in South Korea in the first reported deaths in that region.
Both people, a 58-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man, had been identified as carrying the virus. Six more cases were also discovered, the Korean Health Ministry said, bringing the total number of the infected to 25. Many of the infections occurred in the same hospital as the first case nearly two weeks ago.
The Saudi Health Ministry has set up a 24-hour MERS hotline, 937. The caller is assured of privacy and all needed services are offered.

Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019

Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.