Thousands of Saudi volunteers pull together to fight coronavirus

Thousands of Saudi volunteers pull together to fight coronavirus
Saudi health care volunteers are assisting in different areas. (SPA)
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Updated 07 June 2020

Thousands of Saudi volunteers pull together to fight coronavirus

Thousands of Saudi volunteers pull together to fight coronavirus
  • Volunteers are from varying backgrounds; 32 percent of volunteers are female while 68 percent are male

RIYADH: Saudi volunteers are part of the worldwide army of health care workers on the front line in the battle against the coronavirus.
In April, the Saudi Health Ministry called for volunteers to support the community response against COVID-19 via its platform https://volunteer.srca.org.sa/#!/home.
More than 400 areas of volunteering are covered on the website. There are more than 160,000 registered volunteers, 72,000 of whom are active and have signed up across the Kingdom.
Volunteers are from varying backgrounds; 32 percent of volunteers are female while 68 percent are male. As the Kingdom is in its second phase of slowly returning to normal life, there is still a long way to go as cases continue to be recorded, and health care workers — now more than ever — are needed.
Health care volunteers are assisting in different areas. Some are helping to monitor patients in quarantine, conducting COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction tests and delivering medicine to patients’ homes; some are working in emergency rooms, others are sent out to provide psychological support while others travel to shopping centers and malls to help raise awareness about the precautionary measures.
Duaa Al-Bukhari, 27, a lab technician working at the Kudai field hospital in Makkah, is grappling with the pandemic while her family is in Jeddah less than 100 miles away.
Through her work, she has participated in the mass testing of 2,500 individuals in one of Makkah’s most crowded neighborhoods. She described the experience as challenging but rewarding.

HIGHLIGHTS

• There are more than 160,000 registered volunteers, 72,000 of whom are active and have signed up across the Kingdom.

• Volunteers are from varying backgrounds; 32 percent of volunteers are female while 68 percent are male.

“When I heard about this volunteering opportunity, I was really excited to be a part of it. At the beginning I was scared to volunteer in Al-Nakasah neighborhood, but I knew I had the right potential to face this challenge,” she said.
The Kudai field hospital was set up by the Ministry of Health in coordination with the Armed Forces and in cooperation with the health authorities of the Makkah governorate to cope with the growing number of infected patients in Saudi Arabia.
In Alkhobar, 21-year-old Nebras Al-Hajji, a student training to become an anesthesia technologist, is working as a volunteer at the Al-Arabiya health center hundreds of miles away from the Al-Ahsa home where she usually lives with her family.
Leaving home was difficult, especially during a time of uncertainty. Al-Hajji’s initial reaction was of fear, a natural reaction under the circumstances, but as a passionate medical student she understood that it was her duty to provide assistance where she could, however difficult the situation. “I will not let my fear overcome me; fear is a part of us being human but I will not let it ruin my excitement to be a part of this initiative,” she said.
In Sakaka, 26-year-old Rayan Al-Mutairi, an optometrist, left his home town of Qassim to help health workers screen for COVID-19 cases and increase the public’s awareness about the virus. He has spent the past three months on the frontline along with many other health care workers.


‘We must cooperate’ to curb virus, avoid tough measures, Saudi Ministry of Interior warns

‘We must cooperate’ to curb virus, avoid tough measures, Saudi Ministry of Interior warns
A Saudi woman walks on a social distancing marker at a shopping center, as preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 3, 2020. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 min 44 sec ago

‘We must cooperate’ to curb virus, avoid tough measures, Saudi Ministry of Interior warns

‘We must cooperate’ to curb virus, avoid tough measures, Saudi Ministry of Interior warns
  • Makkah police arrest 13 people for violating isolation, quarantine instructions

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced on Sunday that authorities have detected a surge of “worrying” behaviors in the Kingdom since the beginning of Ramadan, warning citizens to avoid ignoring anti-coronavirus health measures.

At a joint press conference between the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, MoI spokesperson Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub warned that the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom could potentially lead to citywide lockdowns, as well as the banning of certain activities.
“We must cooperate and not trivialize the dangers. We do not want to have to resort to tough measures,” he said.
Al-Shalhoub added that the Kingdom was continuing to crack down on rule-breakers and those who violate safety precautions, including people using social media to spread misinformation about safety measures and ways to circumvent them.
Meanwhile, Makkah’s regional police spokesman said that 13 people were arrested in Jeddah and Taif for violating isolation and quarantine instructions after they tested positive for coronavirus.
Preliminary legal procedures were taken against them and their cases were referred to the Public Prosecution. The MoI previously warned that violators will face up to a two-year prison sentence, a fine of up to SR200,000 ($53,300), or both.
Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly revealed that the Kingdom has seen a slight rise in the percentage of women contracting coronavirus, warning that the number of women coming forward to be vaccinated was lower than expected.
“We have also seen a rise in the number of female cases that become critical and end up needing intensive care. Women also make up 55 percent of the overall number of cases in the Kingdom,” he said.
The MoH announced that 917 new coronavirus cases were reported on Saturday, raising the total number of cases to 404,970.
There are now 9,445 active cases, 1,044 of which are in critical care.

INNUMBERS

404,970 Total cases

388,702 Recoveries

6,823 Deaths

Of the new cases, 402 were in Riyadh, 203 in Makkah and 131 in the Eastern Province. Baha and Jouf reported the lowest cases on Saturday, with just six cases each.
Al-Aly said that appointments for second vaccine doses would be automatically updated, following news that some appointments had been canceled. The Saudi strategy aims to immunize the largest number of people possible with at least the first dose, Al-Aly added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that more than 15 million people have benefited from its Eatmarna app.
The ministry said that only people who have taken at least the first dose of the vaccine will be permitted to perform Umrah, or pray at either the Grand Mosque in Makkah or the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
Violators will be prosecuted for attempting to perform the pilgrimage without the proper permissions, officials said, adding that authorities are encouraging safety precautions in order to ensure safe, smooth, and seamless pilgrimages for all visitors.
There were 907 new recoveries reported in the Kingdom, raising the total number of recoveries over the course of the pandemic to 388,702. The Kingdom’s death toll rose to 6,823 after 13 new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded.
Almost 7.1 million coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Saudi Arabia so far.


Saudi Arabia records 27,377 COVID-19 violations

Saudi Arabia records 27,377 COVID-19 violations
During the first five days of Ramadan, Qassim municipality carried out more than 11,000 inspection tours of food and health facilities in Buraidah and other regional governorates. (SPA)
Updated 10 min 4 sec ago

Saudi Arabia records 27,377 COVID-19 violations

Saudi Arabia records 27,377 COVID-19 violations
  • Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms, while Tetamman clinics offer treatment

RIYADH: Saudi authorities continued their monitoring campaigns to ensure compliance with the precautionary measures imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
They recorded 27,377 violations of the regulations within one week, according to recent statistics from the Ministry of Interior.
The statistics indicated that the region of Riyadh recorded the highest number with 9,471 violations, followed by Makkah (5,756), the Eastern Province (3,589), Qassim (1,969), Madinah (1,690), Jouf (1,343), Tabuk (897), Hail (801), Baha (579), Asir (503), the Northern Borders (451), Najran (171) and Jazan (157).
The ministry called on citizens and residents to keep abiding by the preventive protocols and the instructions issued by authorities in this regard.
Meanwhile, Saudi health clinics set up by the Ministry of Health as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the pandemic began.
Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms, while Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to people with symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties. 


Saudi HR development fund to support 50% of wages in industrial sector

Saudi HR development fund to support 50% of wages in industrial sector
Jobseekers stand in line to talk with a recruiter at a booth at a job fair in Riyadh, January 29, 2012. (REUTERS)
Updated 15 min 8 sec ago

Saudi HR development fund to support 50% of wages in industrial sector

Saudi HR development fund to support 50% of wages in industrial sector
  • The fund called on the owners of industrial establishments to join the support program and list job opportunities

RIYADH: The Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) contributes to providing training and employment support programs for the industrial sector, bearing 50 percent of the wages for employment, training and qualification for jobs.
The initiative is part of the launch of the wage support program to stimulate the localization of jobs in the industrial sector in the Kingdom during 2021.
The initiative includes “Wusoul” — supporting working women whose salaries are less than SR8,000 ($2,133), training programs approved by Hadaf, programs that cover plants that have an industrial license, and job opportunity programs in all regions of the Kingdom.
The fund called on the owners of industrial establishments to join the support program and list job opportunities through the national labor portal “Taqat.sa,” to benefit from the fund’s support. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources announced the launch of the wage support program last week.


Saudi Arabia offers condolences over Egypt train accident

Saudi Arabia offers condolences over Egypt train accident
Updated 42 min 33 sec ago

Saudi Arabia offers condolences over Egypt train accident

Saudi Arabia offers condolences over Egypt train accident
  • The train accident left 97 wounded after it derailed off its tracks

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it expresses its deep sorrow for the train accident north of the Egyptian capital Cairo.
A passenger train derailed earlier on Sunday in the city of Toukh in Qalyubia province, injuring around 100 people.
“The Kingdom expresses its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, and to the Egyptian leadership, government and people, wishing the injured a speedy recovery,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Four train wagons ran off the railway while the train was traveling to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura from Cairo, Egypt’s railway authority said.
(With AP)


Bahrain's King Hamad receives Saudi interior minister

Bahrain’s King Hamad receives Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif at Sakhir Palace. (SPA)
Bahrain’s King Hamad receives Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif at Sakhir Palace. (SPA)
Updated 21 min 6 sec ago

Bahrain's King Hamad receives Saudi interior minister

Bahrain’s King Hamad receives Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif at Sakhir Palace. (SPA)

RIYADH: Bahrain’s King Hamad received Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif at Sakhir Palace in the kingdom’s western region on Sunday.
At the beginning of the meeting, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud conveyed greetings from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the king, and their wishes for continued progress and prosperity for the government and people of Bahrain. King Hamad also conveyed his greetings and appreciation to the Saudi leaders and reciprocated the sentiments.
During the meeting, they discussed the latest regional and international developments.
The Saudi minister also met with Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad to discuss relations and cooperation between the two countries and means of developing them in various fields.