Saudi Arabia enters final phase in return to ‘new normal’

Saudi Arabia enters final phase in return to ‘new normal’
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All commercial and economic activities are to return in all Saudi cities and regions from Sunday. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia enters final phase in return to ‘new normal’
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Saudi Arabia will lift a curfew to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Kingdom on Sunday at 6 a.m. (SPA)
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Updated 21 June 2020

Saudi Arabia enters final phase in return to ‘new normal’

Saudi Arabia enters final phase in return to ‘new normal’
  • The Umrah pilgrimage and international flights remain suspended
  • Gatherings of more than 50 people are not allowed and people should ensure that they wear a mask in public

JEDDAH: The return to normal life across the Kingdom is set to begin on Sunday, June 21, after 73 days of a nationwide lockdown imposed on April 8.

Following the statement issued on May 26, and based on the reports of the authorities regarding measures taken in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Saudi Ministry of  Interior stated that a royal approval had been issued that stated the nationwide curfew was to be lifted across the Kingdom from Sunday, June 21 at 6 a.m.

All commercial and economic activities are to return in all Saudi cities and regions, though individuals and companies should take into account preventive protocols requiring everyone to commit to social distancing, wear masks to cover the nose and mouth, and which ban gatherings of more than 50 people.

The measures are to be periodically assessed and reviewed by the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH).

Umrah pilgrimage and visits to holy sites remain suspended. The decision will be reviewed periodically in light of new developments.

International flights remain suspended, as well as all travel activities through sea and land entry-exit points, until further notice, and penalties will be applied against any individuals or facilities that violate rules issued to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Officials stressed the need for all residents and employers to assume their responsibilities and abide by the precautionary and preventive measures, and to commit to all the instructions issued by the relevant authorities in the Kingdom.

Residents are urged to download the Tawakkalna and Tabaud (Distancing) applications on their smart phones, to stay up to date on all health instructions, directions and developments about the spread of the virus.

FASTFACT

154,233 coronavirus cases

98,917 recoveries

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia recorded 3,941 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, meaning 154,233 people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease. There are currently 54,086 active cases, 1,955 of them critical.

The MOH announced 3,153 new recoveries, taking the total number to 98,917 while 46 new deaths have been reported, raising the death toll to 1,230.

The MOH also released a guideline for residents using taxis and ride-hailing services, mandating that payments be electronic and contactless, that passengers should keep any waste items with them and dispose of them later, should avoid touching surfaces, only sit in the backseats of vehicles, and carry hand sanitizers and extra cloth face masks at all times.

The Saudi Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development stated that all government sector work forces should not exceed a capacity of 75 percent throughout the work day at their place of work. Workers should be divided into three shifts starting from 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. to stagger entry into buildings

The director of the information and communication department at the General Directorate of Prisons, Dr. Bandar Al-Khurami, confirmed that there were no cases of COVID-19 among Saudi prison inmates on Friday.

In a telephone interview on the Saudia TV channel, Dr. Bandar said that the Directorate General of Prisons had implemented a plan consisting of two parts, through raising awarenesswith lectures and by applying preventive measures issued by the MOH in prisons, including testing employees before entry to premises, the sterilization of buildings, and the cancelation family visits for inmates.

He added that the directorate was working to provide virtual communication between inmates and families until further notice.

Al-Khurami pointed out that the implementation of these measures contributed to preserving the safety and health of prison inmates and employees of the General Directorate of Prisons.

 


Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia
Updated 7 min 55 sec ago

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The Arab coalition has destroyed a Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia, news channel Al-Arabiya has reported.

The coalition said the attack is a continuation of the Houthi’s “systematic and intentional hostile attempts to target civilians.”

It said the drone was fired towards Jazan in the south of the kingdom.  

The bloc said it was taking all necessary operational measures to protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law. 


Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations

Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations
Updated 11 April 2021

Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations

Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations
  • Due to a global shortage in vaccine manufacturing and delivery, MoH provided more room for first timers

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MoH) said it has postponed second dose appointments for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in order to ensure more of the Kingdom’s residents can receive their first dose.

According to the MoH, all second dose reservations will be rescheduled as of Sunday April 11 and will resume at a later time. The ministry added that due to a global shortage in vaccine manufacturing and delivery, they’ve provided more room for first timers, especially those in high risk categories, to receive theirs.
Over 6.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in the Kingdom so far, at a rate of 175,000 daily doses, which means 17.5 percent of the Kingdom has received at least one dose.
Municipalities coordinating with relevant authorities continue to inspect commercial establishments, especially in areas known to be overcrowded across the Kingdom. Jeddah municipality, with the participation of a number of relevant authorities, closed 81 shops in Al-Sawarikh International Market in the south of the governorate, after finding multiple violations, including failure to adhere to precautionary and preventive measures among visitors, and a lack of commitment to social distancing measures.

FASTFACT

Over 6.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in the Kingdom.

The MoH reported 878 new cases of COVID-19 in the Kingdom on Saturday, meaning 397,636 people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease.
The top three most infected regions were Riyadh with 410 infections, Makkah with 149 cases, and the Eastern Province with 141, while the lowest reported number of cases were in Baha, with just seven cases.
The number of active cases also rose, to 8,113 active cases in the Kingdom, 914 of them critical — a rise of 16 in the past 24 hours.
The ministry announced 578 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 382,776. Saudi Arabia’s recovery rate has decreased to 96.2 percent.
For the first time in nearly four months, the number of deaths reported in the Kingdom rose to double digits, as 10 new COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Saturday, raising the death toll to 6,747. A total of 61,640 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of tests in the Kingdom to 15,738,545.


Saudi artist in the driver’s seat for new Jeddah street project

Saudi artist in the driver’s seat for new Jeddah street project
Shalimar Sharbatly will paint a new set of vehicles for the Draw a Nation initiative. (Supplied)
Updated 10 April 2021

Saudi artist in the driver’s seat for new Jeddah street project

Saudi artist in the driver’s seat for new Jeddah street project
  • Draw a Nation comes within the framework of initiatives to improve the visual appeal of Jeddah’s streetscapes

RIYADH: A Saudi abstract artist who won global recognition for her hand-painted and customized cars will paint a new set of vehicles for an extended edition of the Draw a Nation initiative after signing an agreement with the Jeddah municipality.
Shalimar Sharbatly, a pioneer of the “Moving Art” school, was responsible for both a hand-painted, customized Porsche 911, showcased at the Paris Motor Show, and a Formula 1 racer, known as “La Torq,” which was unveiled at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
Both vehicles were also exhibited at the Louvre museum in Paris as part of a “Moving Art” exhibition in 2017.
However, within the Kingdom, Sharbatly is best known for the Draw a Nation initiative, which saw her showcase several of her hand-painted vehicles during last year’s Saudi National Day celebrations.
Sharbatly was inspired to upcycle old cars after witnessing an accident while driving along the beach in Jeddah. She told Arab News that painting the vehicles helped her regain a sense of purpose.

BACKGROUND

Shalimar Sharbatly, a pioneer of the ‘Moving Art’ school, was responsible for both a hand-painted, customized Porsche 911, showcased at the Paris Motor Show, and a Formula 1 racer, known as ‘La Torq,’ which was unveiled at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.

“I had become disillusioned with art and was lacking passion. I started painting these cars, turning abandoned vehicles that were deemed useless into vibrant and beautiful works of art that could gain a second life. I hope that when others view these pieces, they will feel the same joy I felt when I was painting them,” she said.
Draw a Nation comes within the framework of initiatives to improve the visual appeal of Jeddah’s streetscapes. The goal is to paint a number of old and abandoned cars and vehicles, turning them into works of art that enrich the city.
Ayed Al-Zahrani, undersecretary for the mayor of Jeddah for community service, said: “The community will benefit from recycling cars and turning them into artistic masterpieces displayed in public for Jeddah residents and visitors.”
The Jeddah municipality also previously launched the “Yalla Jeddah” platform, which invites innovators in all fields to address challenges facing Jeddah’s art scene.


Renovation projects underway in Makkah

Renovation projects underway in Makkah
The mountain houses the Cave of Hira, which has tremendous significance for Muslims. (Photo/Twitter)
Updated 11 April 2021

Renovation projects underway in Makkah

Renovation projects underway in Makkah
  • The sites included the Hudaybiyyah region where the Radwan Pledge took place in the sixth Hijri year, when Prophet Muhammad brokered a peace treaty between him and his followers and the Quraysh clan

JEDDAH: Reconstruction and renovation projects are underway in six Islamic historical sites and museums in Makkah.
The Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites hosted a field visit from the Executive Committee for the Path of the Islamic Historical Sites and Museums.
The sites included the Hudaybiyyah region where the Radwan Pledge took place in the sixth Hijri year, when Prophet Muhammad brokered a peace treaty between him and his followers and the Quraysh clan.
They also visited Bir Tuwa (the Well of Tuwa), Jabal Thawr, the 1,200-year-old water well and canal Ayn Zubaydah, the Mina site where the Al-Aqaba Pledge took place and Jabal Al-Nour, the Cave of Hira.
One of the most important projects is the Jabal Al-Nour Cultural Center.
The mountain houses the Cave of Hira, which has tremendous significance for Muslims because it is where the prophet is said to have had his first revelation and received the first verses of the Holy Qur’an. 


Saudi aid agency launches Ramadan food baskets project

Saudi aid agency launches Ramadan food baskets project
The distribution project targets the most needy families in the three districts in Nouakchott, benefiting about 3,090 families. (SPA)
Updated 11 April 2021

Saudi aid agency launches Ramadan food baskets project

Saudi aid agency launches Ramadan food baskets project
  • These projects come within the framework of the humanitarian aid being provided by the Kingdom, represented by KSrelief, to people around the world

MARIB: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has launched in Marib a project to distribute 9,880 Ramadan food baskets, benefiting thousands of needy and displaced families in six Yemeni governorates.
The director of the executive unit of the management of displaced people camps in Marib governorate, Saif Muthanna, said that he valued the humanitarian aid provided by Saudi Arabia, represented by KSrelief.
The center has also distributed 662 Ramadan food baskets in villages in Chad.
KSrelief, in cooperation with Mauritanian Red Crescent, launched the Ramadan food baskets distribution project.
The distribution project targets the most needy families in the three districts in Nouakchott, benefiting about 3,090 families.
The center also delivered Saudi Arabia’s gift to Mali, included 50 tons of dates.
On behalf of KSrelief, the aid was delivered by the Saudi ambassador to Mali, Khaled bin Mabrouk Al-Khaled. These projects come within the framework of the humanitarian aid being provided by the Kingdom, represented by KSrelief, to people around the world.