Cinemas close in Saudi Arabia over coronavirus concerns

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday it would close cinemas until further notice over coronavirus concerns, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. (File/AFP)
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Updated 11 March 2020

Cinemas close in Saudi Arabia over coronavirus concerns

  • The ministry of health announced the first case of a person recovering from coronavirus in the Kingdom
  • The Kingdom has already closed schools and restricted travel as it moves to halt the spread of COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday it would close cinemas until further notice over coronavirus concerns, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The Kingdom has already closed schools and restricted travel as it moves to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the ministry of health announced the first case of a person recovering from coronavirus in the Kingdom — with the overall number of cases at 21.
The patient is one of the cases quarantined at Qatif Central Hospital and is preparing to be discharged.

The Kingdom's health ministry also called on people to avoid gatherings exceeding 50 people and to refrain from shaking hands with each other to prevent the spread of coronavirus.   

Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Lebanon said two flights have been organized in coordination with Middle East Airlines to evacuate Saudi citizens and their families who wish to leave the country.
One of the flights will leave for King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh at 8 a.m. on Saturday and the other will leave for King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on Sunday at the same time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Wednesday that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic but added that it’s not too late for countries to act.
“All countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s chief said.


Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 03 August 2020

Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

  • Capital gets a facelift as Vision 2030 program works to plant 7.5 million trees
  • Most of the tree species used in the project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care

RIYADH: The Green Riyadh project, one of the world’s largest urban greening initiatives, is rapidly bearing fruit as it transforms main roads in the capital.

Major thoroughfares, including King Khalid, Makkah and King Salman roads, are getting a facelift as part of the Vision 2030 goal of improving quality of life in the city.
Dr. Fahad Al-Mana, a professor of Ornamental Plants, Gardens and Green Areas at King Saud University, told Arab News that native tree species being used for the project include Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia gerrardii and Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the ghaf tree.
According to Al-Mana, the trees can survive in harsh desert conditions and will grow without intensive agricultural care.
“Most of the tree species used in the planting of the Green Riyadh project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care,” he said.
Environmental conditions in Riyadh were taken into account during the tree selection process. The species can grow to a large size in only three years.
“In some locations, they have moved large 3-year-old local trees that were taken care of in plant nurseries to new locations where they are growing successfully,” Al-Mana said.
Green Riyadh will increase the amount of greenery in the city and augment the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees around the city’s main features and facilities.
The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

FASTFACTS

• The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

• The project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.

• Green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030

“The aim of planting trees in the streets is to provide shade and moderate the temperature, especially in summer, which contributes to the purification of air and reduces environmental pollution by protecting the city from sand storms, winds and dust. In addition, it gives an aesthetic view and the element of nature enters the city and nearby structures,” said Al-Mana.
He added that trees, especially those planted in central street islands, must have long trunks and high branches to avoid hindering the movement of pedestrians and cars. The trunk must measure at least 3 to 4 meters and the size of the trees planted must be proportional to the width of the island.
Al-Mana said green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030.
According to the Green Riyadh website, the project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per
day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.
Al-Mana said the Green Riyadh project will also reduce carbon dioxide and impurity levels in the city.
“Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides,” he said.