Field hospital in Makkah ready to serve patients

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Updated 10 May 2020

Field hospital in Makkah ready to serve patients

  • These hospitals are part of the plans that all government authorities are responsible for, with the cooperation of the ministries of health and defense

MAKKAH: The director of the Directorate General of Health Affairs in Makkah, Wael Mutairi, and the director of the Armed Forces Hospital, Yasser Baabeer, have carried out an inspection at the Makkah field hospital, which is now ready to receive coronavirus patients.
The purpose of the tour was to discuss matters related to the readiness of the hospital, meet and encourage the workers, and observe the final preparations.
Mutairi said that the Kingdom’s government always sets up proactive plans and takes precautionary measures to face emergencies and possible crises. These hospitals are part of the plans that all government authorities are responsible for, with the cooperation of the ministries of health and defense.
Baabeer said that this cooperation emanates from the national and humanitarian duty of all the ministries and government sectors.
With a capacity of 100 beds and covering an area of 2,000 square meters, it aims to help the authorities quickly respond to cases as they appear.
It includes a laboratory, a pharmacy and a digital scanner technically linked with all hospitals, as well as operating rooms and medical supplies that are easy to disassemble and install in any location within 60 working hours.

 


Technical glitches on Absher prevent exempt Saudis from traveling abroad

Updated 27 September 2020

Technical glitches on Absher prevent exempt Saudis from traveling abroad

  • On Sept. 13, the Saudi government issued a list of categories of people permitted to travel outside of the Kingdom
  • However, only a few days after the announcement, many students, patients and other exempted residents were unable to apply due to a technical fault on Absher

JEDDAH: Absher, the “one-stop shop” web-portal for Saudi government services, has been experiencing technical glitches that have left many citizens and expats unable to travel, despite them meeting the “exceptional case” categories outlined by the Interior Ministry more than two weeks ago.
Earlier this year and as part of its response to COVID-19, the Saudi government suspended all international flights to and from the Kingdom in a move that has successfully reduced infections across the country.
On Sept. 13, the Saudi government issued a list of categories of people permitted to travel outside of the Kingdom. These include diplomats, humanitarian cases, Saudis who live outside the Kingdom for work or study, among others. To be able to leave the country an eligible individual must apply — with supporting documents — for a permit to the passport authority.
However, only a few days after the announcement, many students, patients and other exempted residents were unable to apply due to a technical fault on Absher.
“The option to request the permit suddenly vanished from the relevant page, so while you could access Absher you just couldn’t submit your request. I tried every day for nearly two weeks,” said a Saudi woman who holds residency in a neighboring country. She added that while there was no announcement, the only information that she read in the local press was that the service was facing technical glitches.
“Yesterday, they announced that Absher was back but said that new requirements were set,” she said. “These include providing a copy of the residency card abroad and proof that an applicant has lived out of the Kingdom for six months every year for the past three years. In addition they requested a copy of my tenancy contract.”
“I spent all day collecting the documents. When I tried to upload the PDF the first time it told me that the file was too big, so I went to find software to reduce the size and when I finally managed to do so, I couldn’t log in as the whole website was down with a message saying that it was either temporarily unavailable or that they were serving someone else,” she said.
Other people, including one Saudi cancer patient who is due to return for treatment in Germany, spoke of the same technical glitches. When Arab News tried to log on to verify earlier today, it was unable to with an automated message that said “currently we are serving others, please try again later.”  The problem seems to have been resolved for some users by 10 pm.