Makkah hotels could be used as isolation units in virus fight  

Saudi Arabia suspended pilgrimages to Makkah to contain the coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 23 March 2020

Makkah hotels could be used as isolation units in virus fight  

  • Business owners step in to help Saudi health ministry battle pandemic

JEDDAH: Seven high-end hotels have been offered to Saudi health authorities for possible use as isolation areas for people infected by the novel coronavirus.

The Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), which represents business owners and investors in the city, announced the move as part of a drive to help the Kingdom’s fight against the pandemic.

MCCI Chairman Hisham bin Mohammed Kaaki said that the chamber has also placed its Al-Sabeen Building at the disposal of health authorities.

As part of the initiative, the MCCI is providing services and discounts for security staff and health workers in Makkah, in cooperation with commercial stores, institutions and companies, in recognition of their efforts during the crisis.

The chamber has prepared a survey for members to identify the challenges the private sector is facing as a result of the pandemic.

Ismat bin Abdul Karim Ma’atouq, MCCI designated secretary-general, said that the survey will highlight the needs of the private sector, as well as the negative effects of coronavirus precautionary measures, so that authorities can develop effective solutions.

The chamber is leading a movement encouraging the business sector and Saudi people to follow the advice of health authorities to curb the outbreak. This includes staying at home, avoiding gatherings and following hygiene protocols, Ma’atouq said.

MCCI staff are working online around the clock to provide services for the business sector and beneficiaries.

Ma’atouq said that the MCCI has been contributing socially as well as raising awareness to combat the pandemic.

He praised business people who responded to the emergency appeal by agreeing to provide discounts for security staff and health workers in Makkah.   

Dr. Kholood Mohamed, head of Tabuk’s regional council

Updated 17 min 50 sec ago

Dr. Kholood Mohamed, head of Tabuk’s regional council

Dr. Kholood Mohamed has become the first woman in the Kingdom to head Tabuk’s regional council, with the Saudi interior minister approving her appointment as the body’s secretary-general.
Al-Khamis called on Tabuk Gov. Prince Fahd bin Sultan on Monday and the prince congratulated her on her new position, emphasizing the role of Saudi women in government agencies.
She is an assistant professor of inorganic chemistry and supervisor of the chemistry department at the University of Tabuk.
She joined the university in 2010 as a teaching assistant in the science faculty, later becoming a lecturer and then being promoted to associate professor.
She did her doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Howard University in the US in 2018. She obtained her master’s degree from King Saud University in Riyadh and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tabuk.
Al-Khamis is a member of several scientific bodies such as the Supreme Committee of Prince Fahd bin Sultan Award for Scientific Excellence, American Chemical Society, and the Committee for the National Olympiad for Scientific Creativity.
She has presented many research studies during her career, and participated locally and abroad in specialist activities in the science field.