Saudi king’s speech ‘reflects his desire to ensure safety of all’

Saudi king’s speech ‘reflects his desire to ensure safety of all’
King Salman delivered a speech to the Saudi nation on Thursday. (SPA)
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Updated 21 March 2020

Saudi king’s speech ‘reflects his desire to ensure safety of all’

Saudi king’s speech ‘reflects his desire to ensure safety of all’
  • His words have reassured citizens and residents alike, say ministers

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman gave a televised speech regarding the coronavirus outbreak. A number of Saudi officials, ministers, Shoura Council members and citizens praised the speech and said that the words reflect the king’s appreciation of the efforts made by everyone to handle the pandemic.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that King Salman’s words had come at a time during when the Kingdom was doing its best to avoid the global pandemic.
He noted that the Kingdom is working through international contacts and consultations with other G20 members to strengthen cooperation in battling the pandemic.
He said that the ministry’s employees were striving tirelessly to ensure the safety of citizens everywhere.
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal described the king’s speech as sublime, sincere, and very touching, reflecting his auspicious desire to ensure the safety of the people of Saudi Arabia.
He said that the king’s words depict, first and foremost, strong belief in Allah and secondly, it displays the determination of Saudis in overcoming this difficult phase in human history.
Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, minister of state and member of the Cabinet, said that the king’s words have reassured citizens and residents alike over the precautionary measures taken by the Kingdom to protect them from coronavirus and recent developments.
He affirmed that the Kingdom’s level of transparency and direct communication with the public only depicts the utmost concern for humanity.
Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, said that the king’s words expressed sentiments addressing the entire world.
He praised the Kingdom’s efforts and said that the continuous precautionary measures only prove that human health and sustainability are at the forefront of its concerns.
The president of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, Mohammed Al-Qasem, praised the efforts to provide the necessary medicine, food and living necessities, as well as the support for various health sectors by ensuring all preventive measures are taken to halt a coronavirus outbreak.
Deputy Minister of Health Fahad Al-Jalajel praised the king’s words. He said they would be our guide and help us overcome these trying times.
He affirmed that the king’s support for what governmental sectors are doing to combat the pandemic display his wisdom and concern for the public.

HIGHLIGHTS

• King Salman said that the Saudi people had shown strength in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

• The king expressed his thanks to the government bodies for their work during the outbreak, in particular professionals in the health sector.

• The king said the authorities would provide everything that citizens and residents of the Kingdom required during the outbreak and said he would do everything to preserve the health of the nation.

The editor of YOU newsletter, Jawahir Zahran, told Arab News: “I think the king’s speech was quite touching. Despite his warning that the next period will even be more difficult, he made the point that the Kingdom and government are making all the effort needed to overcome this pandemic — making citizens’ health a priority and treating us as his offspring.”
Dr. Sami Zaidan, a member of the Saudi Shoura Council, said: “There were no justifications or excuses, the speech was very transparent. As he is the head of the country it was very reassuring for the people, and it gave everybody a sense of comfort that the state and the government are keen on keeping everybody safe. Also, the fact that we are putting human lives before anything else.”
Zaidan said that the government is sacrificing a lot in terms of resources and monetary revenues, and that the king was directing us to value human lives: “Saudi Arabia has also shown to the people who have been criticizing us that we value human lives, instead of world leaders telling their people that a lot of their loved ones are going to die.”
“If it is of any value, I urge the citizens and anyone listening to adhere to the precautionary measures that the Ministry of Health has given us. It will take all of us to defeat this problem,” he added.
Dr. Alia Al-Dahlawi, a member of the Shoura Council and the professor of immunology at King Abdul Aziz University, also commented on the speech saying, “It’s the speech at the right time because of the crisis we are facing; it is an emergency phase in the country and all over the world. If our leader is talking about it, it does mean that it is important.”
Al-Dahlawi said that it gave everyone confidence and encouraged the people working during this crisis in the health, education and security sectors all around the country.
“He made it clear that the situation was not to be taken lightly, and we need to cooperate altogether. The speech made me feel like it was intended for me, the information that there are people working for my health, security and financial situation. It comforts me that our country is keen to take all measures to protect not only Saudis but all residents living here,” A-Dahlawi concluded.
Malika Al-Hussaini, a private sector worker, told Arab News: “His speech reassured us that even if the world faces more difficulties we will be able to solve it and stand for our citizens.”


Saudi Food and Drug Authority seizes 412 tons of shrimp, fake food labels in Jazan

Saudi Food and Drug Authority seizes 412 tons of shrimp, fake food labels in Jazan
Updated 29 July 2021

Saudi Food and Drug Authority seizes 412 tons of shrimp, fake food labels in Jazan

Saudi Food and Drug Authority seizes 412 tons of shrimp, fake food labels in Jazan
  • Inspectors found modifications of data and expiry dates of the shrimps repackaged in new containers

JAZAN: Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) inspectors seized 412 tons of shrimp stocks after detecting fake food labels and product packages inside an illegal warehouse in Jazan region.

SFDA said that during the inspection and investigation operations, inspectors detected modifications of the data and the expiry dates of the product, which was repackaged in new containers.

The shrimp products, and packages and data labels were seized, in addition to another 500,000 labels bearing food data and cartons ready for packing.

As a result of the inspection, the authority closed the unlicensed warehouse and summoned those responsible for the facility to hear statements and complete the application of penalties and regulations against them.

According to food law and its executive regulations, the penalty for such violations can reach up to SR10 million ($2.6 million), in addition to a ban on the violator from practicing any food business for up to 180 days, as well as license suspensions and/or cancellations.

Violations of establishments under the supervision of the SFDA can be reported by calling the unified number (19999), or through its “Tameni” application available on the iOS and Android operating systems.

 

 


35,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani housing scheme

35,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani housing scheme
Updated 29 July 2021

35,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani housing scheme

35,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani housing scheme
  • Kingdom's Vision 2030 reform plan aims to raise the proportion of residential ownership to 70 percent

RIYADH: A total of 34,891 families benefited from subsidized mortgage loans through the Sakani self-construction program during the first half of this year.

Run by the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs, and Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF), Sakani offers Saudis access to land and residential housing via financing solutions to help first-time homebuyers.

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to raise the proportion of residential ownership in the Kingdom to 70 percent.

Sakani provided various residential products and financial solutions for 111,568 families in the first six months of the year, including 87,896 families that have already moved into new homes and its website and app are designed to simplify and speed up the purchasing process for readymade, off-plan, self-construction, and land products.

To qualify for a subsidized loan for self-construction, applicants must be entitled to residential support, own a residential land plot and have a valid building permit, have a fixed income, and must not have previously claimed housing support. Details are available at https://sakani.housing.sa/product/SC.

The scheme also provides an engineering design service with a range of high-quality, competitively priced options in partnership with experienced engineering offices. More than 36 distinctive and modern self-construction designs are available along with an approved contractor service.

The REDF offers more than 43 e-services for citizens as well as a real-estate adviser app and its online team provides around-the-clock support for those seeking subsidized funding.

Beneficiaries can call 199088 or contact the REDF on social media for information on housing and financial solutions, programs, and initiatives.


Saudi aviation authority issues update for citizens’ travel procedures abroad 

Saudi aviation authority issues update for citizens’ travel procedures abroad 
Updated 29 July 2021

Saudi aviation authority issues update for citizens’ travel procedures abroad 

Saudi aviation authority issues update for citizens’ travel procedures abroad 
  • New procedures will come into effect on Aug. 9

RIYADH: The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has issued a new circular to all airlines, both public and private, operating from the Kingdom’s airports updating the procedures for citizens’ travel outside Saudi Arabia.

The circular stipulates that airlines can carry citizens on international flights, provided that they have received all doses of one of the anti-coronavirus vaccines approved in the Kingdom, with the exception of passengers under the age of 12.

Travelers under the age of 12 are required to present an insurance document approved by the Saudi Central Bank that covers the risks of COVID-19 infection outside the Kingdom.

In addition, citizens who recovered from the virus less than 6 months ago and those who contracted corona more than 6 months ago and received a single dose of one of the approved vaccines in the Kingdom can travel abroad.

GACA said that these procedures will come into effect on Aug. 9.

The GACA continues to apply all preventive measures at the Kingdom’s airports, with the aim of providing an integrated health environment for travelers at Saudi airports.

The procedures also include obliging all concerned authorities and air transport companies operating at the Kingdom’s airports to comply with health safety requirements and preventive measures.


DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green

DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green
Updated 29 July 2021

DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green

DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green
  • Partnership between Diriyah Gate Development Authority and Saudi Botanical Society reflects both sides’ concern to protect and preserve local plants
  • First phase of the development project covers the restoration of more than 2 square kilometers of Wadi Hanifa and old farms in the region

RIYADH: The historic city of Diriyah is about to get greener.

The Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Botanical Society (SBS) to cooperate in private projects in the area of plants and trees in Diriyah.

The MoU also includes spreading awareness about the importance of plants and green spaces and developing the first national garden for local plants in Diriyah, within the projects implemented by the DGDA.

The first phase of the development project covers the restoration of more than two square kilometers of Wadi Hanifa and old farms in the region. It will also establish new hiking trails and parks to make the valley an open space so tourists and visitors can enjoy natural sceneries and outdoor space.

Developing the plants and green space in Diriyah was also addressed in the MoU, along with providing scientific and technical research in the field. The project is in line with the Diriyah Gate Project, Wadi Hanifa Project, and Wadi Safar Project as all associated parties will exchange expertise, information, data, and knowledge sources.

The partnership between DGDA and SBS reflects both sides’ concern to protect and preserve local plants in Diriyah.

SBS, the first nonprofit organization specialized in the protection of wild and local plants in the Middle East, was established after Saudi leadership launched a number of initiatives, such as Green Saudi Arabia, Green Middle East, and a scheme to plant 50 billion trees in the Kingdom.


Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public

Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public
Updated 29 July 2021

Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public

Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public
  • Health Ministry reports 1,334 new cases, 1,079 recoveries, 11 deaths

JEDDAH: The Saudi Health Ministry has warned residents against false claims about COVID-19 persistently circulating on social media and for the unvaccinated to get out and get inoculated from the disease.

Dr. Abdullah Asiri, Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Medicine, also urged the public to continue following health safety protocols to avoid getting hit by the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.

In a recent message posted on Twitter, he  said that all medications must be taken in accordance with instructions, including antibiotics, but that most do not interfere with COVID-19 vaccinations.

The timing of vaccinations might need to be adjusted for people taking immunosuppressive drugs, such as rheumatism and cancer medications, to ensure the best response to the vaccines, he explained.

As of Wednesday, more than 25.7 million doses of vaccines have been administered in the Kingdom, at a current rate of 326,727 a day. More than 18.4 million people have received at least one dose and more than 7 million have received two, meaning more than 73.8 percent of the population has had at least one jab.

INNUMBERS

522,108 - Total number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom

502,528 - Number of recoveries 8,200 Deaths

8,200 - Number of COVID-related deaths

The Ministry of Health repeated its call for all eligible citizens and residents to register for the vaccine given the continuing spread of variants, and reiterated that people who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to become infected, or to suffer severe symptoms if they are.

Authorities reported 1,334 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total in the country to 522,108. The number of active cases has risen to 11,380, and 1,409 patients are receiving critical care, 13 fewer than 24 hours earlier.

The Eastern Province recorded the highest number of new cases, with 271, followed by Riyadh with 260, Makkah with 239, Asir with 127, and Jouf with 12.

An additional 1,079 people have recovered from the disease, raising the total number of recoveries to 502,528, a recovery rate in the Kingdom of 96.2 percent.

An additional 11 people died as a result of conditions related to COVID-19, raising the death toll to 8,200.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya) announced that fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from quarantine requirements upon arrival in the Kingdom. Expatriates returning to the Saudi Arabia are also exempt if their health status is recorded as “recovered” on the Ministry of Health’s approved app, Tawakkalna.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said it conducted 1,689 field inspections in Tabuk, during which it identified 83 violations of precautionary health measures in workplaces.