Saudi minimum wage will apply to all existing, new workers: ministry

Saudi minimum wage will apply to all existing, new workers: ministry
The employee, earning less than SAR 4,000, will be accounted as “half worker” in (Nitaqat). (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 November 2020

Saudi minimum wage will apply to all existing, new workers: ministry

Saudi minimum wage will apply to all existing, new workers: ministry
  • Minimum wage will be raised from from SAR 3,000 ($800) to SAR 4,000

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said that the decision to raise the minimum wage calculation for Saudis from SAR 3,000 ($800) to SAR 4,000 ($1,066) applies to all existing and new workers in the Saudi labor market.

The employee, earning less than SAR 4,000, will be accounted as “half worker” in (Nitaqat), Makkah newspaper quoted the ministry’s spokesperson, Nasser Al-Hazani, as saying.

He also added that this will be applied to the existing private sector employees as well as the new entrants.

The groups benefiting from the decision are all the private sector employees with wages subject to social insurance and salaries less than SAR 4,000, and not within specific groups, the official said.

Al-Hazani added that the ministry currently does not possess any statistics regarding the number of beneficiaries, with wages ranging between SAR 3,000 to SAR 4,000 per month. However, it is working in cooperation with the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) to create statistics for such beneficiaries.

According to the data available on Argaam, the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Ahmad bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, recently issued a decision to raise the minimum wage calculation for Saudis in Nitaqat from SAR 3,000 to SAR 4,000.

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Saudi Arabia’s virus cases surge past 1,000

Saudi Arabia’s virus cases surge past 1,000
The authority reiterated that it was continuously monitoring the safety of the vaccines available in Saudi Arabia by studying cases of side effects. (SPA)
Updated 38 min 59 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s virus cases surge past 1,000

Saudi Arabia’s virus cases surge past 1,000
  • The ministry said 940 people recovered from the virus over the past 24 hours, meaning 390,538 people have made full recoveries

JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) on Tuesday confirmed 34 cases of blood clots or thrombosis and low platelet count among people who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The authority suggests the existence of seven possible cases of thrombosis that are related to the vaccine, due to the absence of other reasons for the appearance of clots in them,” the SFDA said in a statement.
However, the authority also said that thrombocytopenia and blood-clotting immune response associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine is yet to be confirmed in these cases.
It said based on the local reports received, the rate of occurrence of these symptoms in conjunction with the administration of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the Kingdom is “very rare.”
The SFDA said that all approved vaccines for the coronavirus (COVID-19) being used in the Kingdom are safe. It stressed that the desired benefits of the vaccine in question outweigh the potential risks.
The authority reiterated that it was continuously monitoring the safety of the vaccines available in Saudi Arabia by studying cases of side effects along with the local and international scientific evidence and data available.

FASTFACTS

• The Kingdom reports a 55 percent increase in the number of cases among women.

• 1,070 new infections were reported on Tuesday.

The SFDA advised recipients of the vaccine to consult a doctor or go to the nearest health center if any of the following symptoms appear or continue for more than three days after receiving a vaccine: Dizziness, severe and persistent headache, nausea or vomiting, issues with vision, shortness of breath, severe pain in the chest or abdomen or coldness in the extremities, swelling of the legs, small blood spots under the skin other than the injection site.
Dr. Abdullah Asiri, an infectious diseases consultant at the Saudi Ministry of Health, allayed public fears following the reports.
“How can a wrong conclusion deduced from a generalization become the most circulated news?” he wrote on Twitter. “In short, not every blood clotting after vaccinations is due to vaccinations. Thanks to vaccines, lives are saved every day. We have not yet had confirmed cases of platelet deficiency and blood clotting immune responses associated ‘hypothetically’ with COVID-19 vaccines.”
Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, a Ministry of Health spokesman, said: “We are still monitoring an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, which is the highest since the beginning of this year. There has also been an increase in cases among females by 55 percent.”
The Ministry of Health reported 1,070 new confirmed cases in the Kingdom over the past 24 hours, meaning 407,010 people have now contracted the virus. Of the 9,626 active cases, 1,105 were in critical condition. There were 12 fatalities, which brought the national death toll to 6,846.
The ministry said 940 people recovered from the virus over the past 24 hours, meaning 390,538 people have made full recoveries.


Experts say Ramadan is the best time to shape up and gain fitness

Experts say Ramadan is the best time to shape up and gain fitness
The Saudi Sports for All Federation launched a campaign encouraging people to walk or run 20 kilometers for 20 days during Ramadan. (SPA)
Updated 51 min 53 sec ago

Experts say Ramadan is the best time to shape up and gain fitness

Experts say Ramadan is the best time to shape up and gain fitness
  • The Saudi Sports for All Federation launched ‘Step Together’ campaign to help people stay active during the holy month

JEDDAH: While consuming excessive food during the month of Ramadan goes against the purpose of the holy month, for many Saudis and people of the region, it is a time to indulge in special foods, which often leads to overeating.

For years, Saudis have been facing problems with obesity, with unhealthy diets leading to a variety of poor health conditions. While numerous campaigns have been launched to combat this issue, including by the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA), their advice seems to fall on deaf ears during Ramadan.
Arab News spoke to experts — nutritionists and fitness trainers — who discussed their tips to help curb hunger and maintain a healthy weight.
Saudi fitness trainer Nouf Hamadallah, 37, explained that there is no best time to exercise during Ramadan; rather, the time and intensity of the workout can vary from person to person.
“Exercising during Ramadan depends on the flexibility of one’s schedule. There’s no specific time to work out. Most people who believe this are misinformed by what they read,” she told Arab News.

FASTFACTS

• A nationwide cross-sectional survey conducted over phone interviews across 13 regions of the Kingdom in June 2020 showed that the national weighted prevalence of obesity was 24.7 percent.

• It highlighted that obesity was significantly associated with Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, among other diseases.

“One common bit of advice in popular articles says that if people work out before iftar, they will burn calories and lose weight. But this depends on their goals and calorie
intake. Some people cannot work out while fasting because they feel sick and nauseous, and their blood sugar drops. Then they become discouraged from exercising, not knowing that all they have to do is change the timing and nature of their workout. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.”
She added that it is easy to lose muscle mass if people do not choose the right foods for iftar and sahoor, also stressing that it is essential to hydrate during breakfast. Should one choose to work out right before iftar, a protein shake and a nutrient-dense meal with few carbs are advised in breaking fast.

If anyone wants to adopt healthy habits or break bad ones, Ramadan is an excellent chance to do so.

Arwa Bajkhaif, Dietician

“What you eat for sahoor will determine your energy levels for the next day, too. It should be a meal with a good amount of protein and vegetables,” said Hamadallah. “When your body is depleted of energy, the first thing you look for is sugar, and that’s what we want to avoid.”
Digestive problems such as acid reflux also occur due to poor eating habits in Ramadan, she added, and people with such digestive issues need to take note of the specific foods that irritate their stomachs.
She recommended that they avoid these foods if they are planning to exercise and instead have a few dates, soup and maybe a cup of coffee before beginning their workout, saving a full meal for afterward.
Iftar and sahoor also need to be divided into portions to avoid digestive problems, she added.
Saudi clinical and sports dietitian Arwa Bajkhaif, 29, said Ramadan is a “golden opportunity” to fast and practice self-control. If anyone wants to adopt healthy habits or break bad ones, Ramadan is an excellent chance to do so.

What you eat for sahoor will determine your energy levels for the next day.

Nouf Hamadallah, Fitness trainer

“People should know their dietary requirements and follow a suitable diet for their particular health situation during the holy month of Ramadan,” Bajkaif told Arab News
“For individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, I recommend seeing an endocrinologist for insulin and medication adjustments and a clinical dietitian for follow-ups to adjust the amount and type of carbohydrates accordingly.”
As for changing one’s eating habits, she suggested that people should not adopt more than three easy and healthy habits. “Being realistic and specific is key to achieving health goals.”
Saudi dietitian Alaa Gotah advised people to drink plenty of water between iftar and sahoor, avoid sugary drinks especially during iftar to maintain insulin levels, and eat plenty of hydrating food such as salads while limiting the intake of carbohydrates and sweets.
She stressed that fasting cleanses the body of toxins and forces cells into processes that are not usually stimulated when a steady stream of fuel from food is always present.
“Sahoor should include a healthy amount of fiber, which stays for a long time in the intestines. To reduce the feeling of thirst and hunger, it’s recommended to eat fruits that contain dietary fiber and magnesium, such as bananas, dates and watermelon,” Gotah told Arab News.  
A nationwide cross-sectional survey conducted over phone interviews across 13 regions in June 2020 titled “Obesity in Saudi Arabia in 2020: Prevalence, Distribution, and its Current Association with Various Health Conditions” showed that the national weighted prevalence of obesity was 24.7 percent.
The study highlighted that obesity was significantly associated with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, among other diseases.
The Saudi Sports for All Federation launched a campaign to help people stay active during the holy month, presenting the Ramadan edition of “Step Together,” where people are encouraged to walk or run 20 kilometers for 20 days during Ramadan.


Saudi Arabia’s Mawhiba, ALESCO launch initiative to back Arab talent

Saudi Arabia’s Mawhiba, ALESCO launch initiative to back Arab talent
Mawhiba, as an expert institution in the Arab world, will work on developing tools to identify talented youth. (SPA)
Updated 9 min 22 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Mawhiba, ALESCO launch initiative to back Arab talent

Saudi Arabia’s Mawhiba, ALESCO launch initiative to back Arab talent
  • The initiative seeks to discover talented Arab youth and will provide them necessary support to improve their skills

RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) in partnership with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) launched on Tuesday an initiative to discover and nurture Arab talent.
The initiative, launched under the patronage of Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, aims to invest in talented Arab youth.
Mawhiba, as an expert institution in the Arab world, will work on developing tools to identify talented youth.
Mawhiba Secretary-General Dr. Saud bin Saeed Al-Mutahmi and ALESCO Director General Dr. Mohamed Ould Omar signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organization in an online ceremony.
The initiative seeks to discover talented Arab youth and will provide them necessary support to improve their skills and help empower them to become productive members of their respective societies.
The Mawhiba chief said through this agreement, the two organizations seek to strengthen partnerships with other organizations in the Arab world to promote science and education and encourage young talent to grow and prosper.

 


Saudi Arabia and Greece sign defense agreement

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. (SPA)
Updated 25 min 24 sec ago

Saudi Arabia and Greece sign defense agreement

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. (SPA)
  • Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias
  • Foreign ministers sign agreement related to defense cooperation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.
During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Greece, aspects of joint cooperation in various fields, and ways to support and develop it. They also discussed current regional issues and the efforts made toward solving them.
The meeting was attended by Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, along with Greece’s Minister of National Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Kingdom and Greece signed an agreement related to defense cooperation during a series of ministerial meetings in Riyadh.

Opinion

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At the beginning of the meeting, the Saudi and Greek foreign ministers signed an agreement regarding draft arrangements for the legal status of the Greek armed forces participating in supporting the Kingdom’s defense capabilities.
Prince Faisal then held official talks with the two visiting ministers to discuss bilateral relations, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.
They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Following the meeting, Panagiotopoulos said “Greece and Saudi Arabia are linked by strong friendships, have common concerns about current geostrategic challenges and a common vision for the future.”
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir also held talks with Dendias and his accompanying delegation.
Nayef Al-Hajraf, secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), met Dendias and Panagiotopoulos, where he stressed the importance of growing Gulf-Greek relations.
Al-Hajraf and Dendias signed a memorandum of understandingfor consultations on issues of common interest between the GCC’s General Secretariat and the Greek government.
Al-Hajraf said the agreement included a mechanism for cooperating and consulting in the political, economic, commercial and investment fields.


Saudi king and crown prince offer condolences over Egypt train accident

Saudi king and crown prince offer condolences over Egypt train accident
Updated 20 April 2021

Saudi king and crown prince offer condolences over Egypt train accident

Saudi king and crown prince offer condolences over Egypt train accident
  • At least 11 people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a train derailed outside Cairo

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, following a train accident in Qalyubia province, north of the capital.
At least 11 people were killed and nearly 100 injured on Sunday when four train carriages derailed in the city of Banha. The train was traveling to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura from Cairo.
The king said: “We received the news of a train accident in Qalyubia province in Egypt on April 18 resulting in deaths and injuries.
“We send to Your Excellency and to all the families of the deceased our deepest condolences and sincere sympathy,” King Salman adding, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a similar cable to the Egyptian president.