Saudi Arabia’s new cases slow down two weeks after reaching peak of 2,840

A worker takes the temperature of a passenger at a train station in the Kingdom on May 31, 2020. (SPA)
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Updated 31 May 2020

Saudi Arabia’s new cases slow down two weeks after reaching peak of 2,840

  • A total of 503 people have died from COVID-19 in the Kingdom so far
  • The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the kingdom has reached 85,261

JEDDAH: For six consecutive days, new recorded cases in Saudi Arabia have been decreasing after a series of strict measures were put in place that lasted more than six weeks.  

Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry announced 1,877 new cases on Sunday, meaning that 85,261 people have now contracted the disease. There are currently 22,316 active cases, 453 of whom are in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, 3,559 patients have recovered from COVID-19, the highest count since the beginning of the pandemic, bringing the total number of recoveries to 62,442.

The Kingdom’s recovery rate is at its highest at 73 percent and it maintains a low fatality rate at .059 percent.

Saudis made up 43 percent of Sunday’s recorded cases while 57 percent were expatriates; 12 percent of cases were children while 83 percent were adults and 5 percent were adults above the age of 65.

The city of Jeddah recorded the highest number today with 586 cases, with Riyadh at 504 while Makkah recorded 159 cases.

Twenty- three fatalities were recorded in Makkah, Riyadh and Madinah; most had prior chronic conditions.

Meanwhile, 16,200 polymerase chain reaction tests have been conducted, raising the total number of tests conducted in the Kingdom so far to 822,769.

Across the Kingdom, mosques have reopened two months after the pandemic forced them to shut due to fears of the virus spreading. Strict measures are in place and worshipers are told to follow guidelines of keeping a distance of two meters between rows, wearing masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers not lasting more than 15 minutes.

Businesses are gradually returning in many government and private establishments under strict new precautionary guidelines enforced by the authorities.

Public-sector employees have gradually returned to workplaces in all government agencies and offices at 50 percent capacity starting May 31, 75 percent capacity as of June 7 and 100 percent capacity as of June 14.


Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. The 86-year-old is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. (Supplied)
Updated 15 August 2020

Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

  • The Syrian Qur’an writer, regarded as one of the world’s finest calligraphers, is on the road to recovery following his recent hospital admission

MAKKAH: Syrian calligrapher Uthman Taha is in good health and recovering at home after a 13-day stay in a hospital where he was treated for what he and his wife initially suspected to be the novel coronavirus COVID-19, although he ultimately tested negative for the virus.

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. His wife, Fatimah Umm Al-Nour, said Taha had a chest infection during his stay at the hospital and stressed that he had been “careful and took all the precautionary measures” and that he had not left the house for five months before his hospital visit.
The 86-year-old calligrapher is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. She praised his doctors, who have consistently checked in with the couple since Taha returned home, and added that she has tested negative for COVID-19 too.
Taha is regarded as one of the most skilled calligraphers in the Arab world. Al-Nour told Arab News that he continues to practice calligraphy daily.
Taha, who has written the Qur’an 12 times at the King Fahd Complex, was born in 1934 and attended school in Aleppo. His father was also a skilled calligrapher, who used the Ruq’ah script, and Taha studied with several of Syria’s finest calligraphers including Mohammed Al-Mawlawi, Mohammed Al-Khatib, Hussein Al-Turki, and Ibrahim Al-Rifai.
When he moved to Damascus for university, Taha began to learn other scripts, including Thuluth, Naskh (in which he is now considered a master), and Farsi. He received his calligraphy certificate from master calligrapher Hamed Al-Amadi in 1973.
He arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1988, and began work as a calligrapher at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. He writes the Qur’an in the Ottoman script, and copies of his work have been distributed throughout the Islamic world.
What makes Taha’s work unique is that each page of the Qur’an that he writes concludes at the end of a verse. The secret, he explains, is to simplify the words — which is the origin of the Kufic script in which the Qur’an has been written since the days of Prophet Muhammad’s companions — keeping the letters close to one another.
Taha spent years perfecting his technique of evenly distributing the words in every line so that the space between the lettering is consistent throughout every page of every book, which means eliminating many of the script combinations that make such consistency difficult.
He explained to Arab News that when he is working on his Qur’an calligraphy he is transported: “When I begin writing the Holy Qur’an, I resort to solitude to allow myself to be invested in the verses and their interpretation, forgetting about the world around me,” he said. “I wish the verses about Jannah (heaven) would never end, and my hand trembles when I write the verses about Jahannam (hell).”