Number of active and critical COVID-19 cases continues to fall

Saudi Arabia announced 26 more deaths from the coronavirus and 492 new cases of the disease on Thursday. (SPA)
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Updated 02 October 2020

Number of active and critical COVID-19 cases continues to fall

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 319,746
  • A total of 4,794 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that the number of active and critical cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are continuously dropping.
There were 492 new confirmed cases reported on Thursday, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 335,097 in the Kingdom.
Of the confirmed cases, 10,557 remain active and receiving medical care, while 993 are in  critical condition.
In addition, 592 patients have recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 319,746. The death toll has reached 4,794 with 26 new deaths reported on Thursday.
Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said that symptoms of seasonal influenza and coronavirus are similar, and people experiencing symptoms should go to one of the centers without having to make an appointment.
He noted that flu vaccines are found in all health centers, and they are safe and important for all individuals, except for people who are allergic to eggs and babies under six months.

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The total number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia reached 335,097.

Al-Aly highlighted some popular misconceptions about the seasonal influenza, such as that it is not dangerous, that traditional herbs and natural blends can replace vaccines, that the vaccine need be taken only once in a lifetime, and that the vaccine causes very dangerous complications.
The deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah for Umrah affairs, Dr. Abdul Aziz Wazzan, said that the ministry had developed the Eatmarna app to enable people wishing to perform Umrah, and visit and pray at the Two Holy Mosques. It could now issue permits in accordance with the authorities’ approved capacity, to provide a safe environment that ensures that health measures are being followed.

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Some features of the app complement the Tawakkalna app to verify the health status of the applicant before issuing a permit and maintain the safety of pilgrims performing Umrah and visitors, in addition to enabling the permit applicant to determine the closest assembly point through digital maps.
Wazzan said that there are additional services that people can benefit from after receiving their permit, including booking transport from the pilgrims’ transfer centers to the assembly centers around the mosque, or booking a package of services such as accommodation and food through the electronic shopping platforms adopted by the Saudi Hajj and Umrah Global Distribution System.


W20 stresses importance of gender inclusivity across G20 groups

Updated 40 min 9 sec ago

W20 stresses importance of gender inclusivity across G20 groups

  • Women 20 (W20) meeting was hosted by Saudi Arabia as part of its G20 presidency

RIYADH: The second day of the virtual Women 20 (W20) meeting — hosted by Saudi Arabia as part of its G20 presidency — stressed the importance of ensuring inclusivity across the G20’s different working groups.

“The women’s empowerment team at the G20 Secretariat was established by the Saudi sherpa and… my team has engaged with working groups and discussed their topics, such as finance-track development, employment, health, education, agriculture, anti-corruption, energy, the digital economy, tourism, and trade and investments,” said Hala Altuwaijri, chair of the Women's Empowerment Team at the G20 Secretariat and secretary-general of the Family Affairs Council.

She added: “What we learned from previous presidencies is that we look at female empowerment as mainstream, as cross-cutting, and that it should not be the focus of one group only. In other words, every working group should have the empowerment of women as a priority... this is what the Saudi presidency has committed to.”

Addressing gender in the workplace, Libby Lyons, director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in Australia, said that Australia will close the equality gap at all management levels within the next 20 years.

“Forty-three percent (of) all promotions went to women last year in the private sector in Australia. The problem persists, however, for women accessing leadership positions such as CEOs and board members,” she said in a session titled “G20 Policies: Catalyzing Women's Economic Empowerment.”

Lyons’ agency has been collecting data annually for more than seven years from every organization in the private sector with more than 100 employees, giving it a clear picture of what is happening in terms of gender equality. “We must collect standardized data to track what we are doing and assess our actions,” she noted.

She said that in Australia, private enterprise is driving this change, facilitated by the government, which is a unique model. “I think that it is a lesson we can all learn,” Lyons said.

Discussing the most notable G20 commitments over the last five years, Wendy Teleki, head of We-Fi Secretariat, said that We-Fi was founded in 2017 at the G20 Hamburg Summit focused on supporting entrepreneurs around the world.

Since then, it has allocated $300 million in funds through its partners to programs that are ultimately expected to benefit more than 130,000 women, she added.

This year, We-Fi has allocated an additional $50 million and Teleki said that another $50 million “will be allocated to the issues of technology, early-stage financing, and COVID-19 relief response to empower women entrepreneurs and help them in their reliance on technology.”

Addressing the private-sector alliance, empowerment and progression of women’s economic representation, which was established last year in Japan as a means to advocate the advancement of women in the private sector, Tomoko Hayashi, director-general of the Gender Equality Bureau in the Cabinet Office said: “The Empower project…aims to increase the number of women with access to leadership positions. Also it devises actionable plans to increase the digital literacy of women in developing countries.”

She added: “COVID-19 has greatly impacted women, including (by) increasing rates of unemployment and domestic violence. At the same time, it created a great opportunity for women to change the rules of the game.”