Saudi successes highlighted as marine development conference continues in Jeddah

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Updated 07 November 2019

Saudi successes highlighted as marine development conference continues in Jeddah

  • Kingdom said to be making qualitative leaps in the shipping industry
  • Tonnage expected to rise to 9 million tons by the end of 2019

JEDDAH: The development and success of Saudi maritime sector topped the agenda on day two of the international Sustainable Marine Development Towards 2030 and Beyond conference in Jeddah on Wednesday.

The evening session highlighted the Kingdom’s achievements in the fields of maritime security and safety, and protection of the marine environment. It also focused on the successes of the Kingdom’s maritime industries and shipping companies.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Fareed Al-Qahtani, vice chairman of the Saudi Public Transport Authority (PTA) for the maritime transport sector, said that in the past two years the nation has made qualitative leaps in maritime transport in terms of ship registration and cargo quantities.

“Between 2017 and 2018, the tonnage has more than doubled to 8 million tons,” he said, adding that the total is expected to reach about 9 million tons by the end of this year.

Al-Qahtani pointed out that Saudi ports are modern and able to cater to a wide variety of types and sizes of ships and tankers.

“The Kingdom’s ports also apply the highest standards of maritime safety, so that accidents involving ships flying the Saudi flag are minimal, and there were no maritime accidents in territorial waters this year,” he added.

Saudi Arabia is a member of 40 international conventions issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), said Al-Qahtani, which reflects the commitment of the country’s maritime transport industry to the organization’s ideals. He added that these agreements help to enhance safety, protect Saudi waters and beaches from pollution, improve the competency of ships’ crews, and improve navigation, all of which ultimately benefits the national economy. A national strategy has been developed and adopted by the PTA and its national partners to implement international maritime conventions, he said.

Al-Qahtani expects the major achievements by the maritime-transport sector to continue in a number of areas, in particular the academic field. Two colleges specializing in maritime studies have been established, which will help to rectify the problem of a shortage of qualified workers in the vital marine sector.

He said that the Kingdom this year began issuing maritime certificates of competency, through the PTA. The highest scientific and practical standards are applied when granting this certification, in accordance with Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping conventions.

Al-Qahtani also stressed the empowerment of more women to work in the maritime sector as one of the organization’s objectives.

The Sustainable Marine Development Towards 2030 and Beyond conference, organized by the PTA in cooperation with IMO, concludes on Thursday,
 


Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation. (SPA)
Updated 11 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

  • People not wearing masks will be fined

JEDDAH: The Kingdom could return to extreme precautionary restrictions if the number of COVID-19 patients exceeds the medical sector’s capacity, Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah warned on Saturday.
“Public awareness and adherence to precautionary measures is essential to continue the ease of restrictions,” Al-Rabiah said. “We continue monitoring the situation based on the number of critical cases in hospitals and their capacity to receive them. We want to be able to receive all cases that reach out to us and provide them with the care that they need. We are all in one boat in this situation, we are one team, and we must work together cautiously. Lack of commitment will definitely take us back to where we were.”
There were 1,618 new cases reported in Saudi Arabia, meaning that 83,384 people have now contracted the disease. There are currently 24,501 active cases.
The Health Ministry announced that 1,870 more patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 58,883. More than 70 percent of coronavirus patients in the Kingdom have recovered from the disease.
There were 22 new COVID-19-related deaths reported on Saturday, raising the total number of fatalities to 480.
The ministry has assigned 30 health practitioners to carry out the third stage of an expanded examination plan to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the city of Makkah.

FASTFACTS

• 58,883 recoveries

• 24,501 active cases

The examination will take place at a center in the Al-Zaidi district, where citizens and expats will be tested inside their cars through 12 tracks without the need to leave their vehicles. The center has the capacity for over 1,000 tests daily and these will be carried out through appointments made on the ministry’s Sehaty app.
Adjustments to previously announced social distancing measures and regulations were announced by the Saudi Interior Ministry on Saturday. These include new violation penalties, as the second stage of restriction-easing starts on May 31.
Individuals who intentionally violate regulations will pay SR1,000 ($266). Breaches include not wearing a mask, not committing to social distancing marks and areas, refusing to undergo temperature checks at entrances, or not adhering to preventive protocols if their temperature is higher than 38 degrees Celsius.
Private sector establishments that are found to be noncompliant with new preventive measures and protocols will pay a penalty of SR10,000. Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation.