Saudi Arabia mourns first doctor to die after contracting coronavirus

Saudi Arabia mourns first doctor to die after contracting coronavirus
Naeem Chaudhry died after contracting the coronavirus. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 June 2020

Saudi Arabia mourns first doctor to die after contracting coronavirus

Saudi Arabia mourns first doctor to die after contracting coronavirus
  • Pakistani surgeon Naeem Chaudhry died in Makkah, where he worked at Hira General Hospital
  • He contracted the virus in the course of his work helping patients, not from anyone outside the hospital

MAKKAH: Colleagues have paid tribute to the first two doctors to lose their lives in Saudi Arabia as a result of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
Pakistani surgeon Naeem Chaudhry died in Makkah, where he worked in the General Surgery Department at Hira General Hospital. Dr. Muhammad Al-Faki, from Sudan, was a hematology oncology consultant at King Saud University Medical City in Riyadh.
Al-Faki’s colleagues and students set up a hashtag on Twitter in his honor to share cherished memories of him.
“He always cared for his patients and followed up with them personally and was in constant contact with (them),” said his colleague Asaad Assiri, a professor and pediatric consultant at KSUMC. “The smile never left his face. He always came early to work and left the hospital late at night.”
Dr. Hasan Batis Alnomani, a pediatric hematologist at KSUMC, said Al-Faki once told him: “Hasan, it has been more than 40 years (and) I did not take sick leave even for a day. I was offered many services and things from patients and their families; I told them thank you.”
Twitter user @satujjar shared a photo, taken four years ago, of his son with Al-Faki during the youngster’s first visit to the hospital’s hematology clinic. He recalled Al-Faki’s “kindness, beautiful spirit, lasting smile, love for children….I can’t imagine the clinic without him.”
Dr. Wael Hamzah Mutair, director general of Makkah Health Affairs, said the health care family is saddened by Chaudhry’s death, and that the city has lost one of its most skilled and prominent general surgeons.
He said Chaudhry was one of the frontline workers who have played such an important role in the fight against COVID-19 in the Kingdom, and confirmed that he contracted the virus during the course of his work, not from anyone outside the hospital. His only existing health problem was high blood pressure, Mutair added.
Makkah Health Affairs has seen many examples of dedication, perseverance and sacrifice among health workers, he said, and that even when family members have tested positive for the virus they have remained steadfast in their duty and continued to do their utmost to protect the country and its people.


OPEC+ compromises on oil supply increase

Updated 1 min 34 sec ago

OPEC+ compromises on oil supply increase

OPEC+ compromises on oil supply increase
  • Members acknowledge the ‘extraordinary efforts’ of Saudi energy minister

DUBAI: The world’s biggest oil producers have reached a compromise agreement on the supply of crude oil for next year, in an attempt to ensure an ongoing recovery in markets that remain fragile as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a week of online deliberations, OPEC+, the alliance of producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed to increase output from January by only 500,000 barrels per day — significantly less than the 2 million barrels originally planned.
The new levels will be subject to monthly monitoring by OPEC+ ministers, chaired by Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, and could be increased or reduced according to market conditions.
Details of the compromise deal were agreed upon after long discussions among 23 producers, organized from the Vienna home of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The participants acknowledged the “perseverance, diligence and extraordinary efforts” of Prince Abdul Aziz in helping to combat the effects of the pandemic on global energy markets.
Some exporters had argued that the fragile demand for crude meant the full 2 million-barrel increase — as scheduled in the historic agreement last April that is credited with dragging oil prices back from decade-long lows — should be delayed for a further three months.
Others — most notably the UAE — took a more positive view of demand in the months ahead.
The compromise arrangement was hammered out against a background of rising oil prices after news of effective vaccines lifted economic prospects. Brent crude stood at close to $49 as the OPEC+ meeting closed.
Energy experts welcomed the deal. Robin Mills, chief executive of consultancy Qamar Energy, told Arab News: “The plan to make modest monthly increases makes sense. It does not overwhelm the market, gradually regains some market shares, and can be adjusted according to progress on vaccines.”