Saudi minister lauds Kingdom’s efforts to unite world in tackling COVID-19, racism

Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said the Kingdom has taken firm steps to tackle the global health crisis. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 13 October 2020

Saudi minister lauds Kingdom’s efforts to unite world in tackling COVID-19, racism

  • Al-Asheikh reviewed precautionary measures taken by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in coordination with other governmental authorities

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh on Tuesday lauded the Kingdom’s humanitarian and global response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during its G20 presidency year.

He was speaking at an interfaith forum — organized by the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) and its partners around the world — to discuss international efforts to tackle the virus outbreak and other issues threatening communities.

The minister told conference delegates that the Kingdom had taken firm and decisive steps to fight the global health crisis, actions that had been inspired by the principles of Islam.

He began his address by conveying the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to participants in the five-day conference, being attended by leading international government figures and scholars.

He said the world was living through one of its worst-ever pandemics which was having major health, humanitarian, economic, and social repercussions. The COVID-19 outbreak had prompted governments, religious institutions, and international organizations to join forces in mitigating its effects on individuals and communities, he added.

Al-Asheikh pointed out that the Kingdom had dealt with the pandemic in a humanitarian, responsible, and professional manner.

It had taken proactive measures such as closing land, air, and sea borders at an early stage, imposing social distancing rules, requiring people to wear face masks, having curfews where necessary, closing malls and shops, suspending Umrah, workplace attendance, and public transportation, as well as sports, social, and recreational activities.

He noted that religious institutions in Saudi Arabia had also been supportive of Saudi government policies.

Al-Asheikh reviewed precautionary measures taken by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in coordination with other governmental authorities and the Saudi government, which he said had been highly appreciated by the World Health Organization. 

He added that the communique of the G20 virtual conference held to discuss the pandemic and its negative effects, had adopted successful Saudi initiatives aimed at ending hunger and joined with efforts to continue implementing sustainable development programs in countries throughout the world.

Concluding his speech, Al-Asheikh called for united efforts to fight hate speech, racism, and Islamophobia which he said were promoted by extremist organizations that did not reflect society’s humanitarian values and culture of moderation and tolerance through educational systems and media outlets.


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

  • COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.