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.
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.”