Saudi Health Ministry highlights COVID-19 control measures

Saudi Arabia announced 27 more deaths from the coronavirus and 561 new cases of the disease on Wednesday. (AFP)
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Updated 24 September 2020

Saudi Health Ministry highlights COVID-19 control measures

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 313,786
  • A total of 4,569 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

JEDDAH: Saudi health chiefs on Wednesday marked the country’s 90th National Day by highlighting some of the Kingdom’s successes in combating the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The government’s quick response in containing the outbreak had contributed to the Kingdom being placed among the top 20 nations on a Forbes ranking list of the 100 safest countries for COVID-19.
Examples of pioneering research and high standards in lab testing were also among the achievements spotlighted by officials.
“The Kingdom is always used as one of the top examples for managing the spread (of COVID-19), recording cases immediately, and handling the pandemic,” said assistant minister of health and ministry spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly.
Saudi Arabia had conducted more than 6 million polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, fielded over 18 million inquiries to its 937 call center helpline, and dealt with at least 4 million people at its Tetamman (rest assured) clinics and Takkad (make sure) centers.
“All these numbers indicate the Kingdom’s management and medical services are always made available for everyone,” he added.
Questions relating to test results were among the most common handled by call center staff. “The PCR test in the Kingdom is made very accessible and quick. Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most unique and fastest countries in the world in terms of the lab tests,” Al-Aly said.
In more than 95 percent of cases, test results were turned around within 24 hours, he added, with some requiring specialist analysis taking up to 48 hours.
A total of 561 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Kingdom on Wednesday, meaning 331,359 people in Saudi Arabia had now contracted the disease. There were 13,004 active cases, of which 1,095 patients were in serious or critical condition.
Additionally, 1,102 more patients recovered from the disease, taking the number of recoveries to 313,786, while 27 new deaths had been reported, raising the death toll to 4,569.
 


Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 26 October 2020

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”