Saudi Interior Ministry warns against large social gatherings

The Health Ministry said everyone should create an online account on the Sehhaty app to get the vaccine. (SPA)
The Health Ministry said everyone should create an online account on the Sehhaty app to get the vaccine. (SPA)
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Updated 14 January 2021

Saudi Interior Ministry warns against large social gatherings

Saudi Interior Ministry warns against large social gatherings
  • Health officials report 175 new coronavirus cases, 156 recoveries, 4 deaths

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Interior renewed its warning against social gatherings and reminded people of the penalties against gatherings of more than 50 individuals as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The ministry uploaded an infographic to Twitter stating: “Gatherings for social purposes such as funerals, parties and the like, for more than 50 people violate preventive measures against COVID-19.”
The infographic reconfirmed that the initial penalty for an establishment or person who instigated the violation is a SR40,000 ($10,600) fine, while anyone in attendance or causing the crowding will pay SR5,000.
If there is a second violation, the penalty will be doubled to SR80,000. Those who are in attendance or instigating the event will pay up to SR10,000.
For a third violation, the penalty is doubled and they will be referred to the public prosecution.
If the violating institute is in the private sector — and a repeating offender — it will be closed for three months. In a second incident, the establishment will be closed for six months. The ministry urges those who witness any violations to call 911 for those in Makkah and Riyadh, and 999 for other regions.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said everyone should create an online account on the Sehhaty app to get the vaccine. It added that family members cannot get appointments for each other.
“An independent account is created for the wife and other beneficiaries in the Sehhaty app, except for children who are under 18, who can be affiliated with the head of the family,” the ministry tweeted.
Meanwhile, a source in the Interior Ministry said citizens were being warned against traveling to a number of countries without obtaining prior permission.
This comes following the statement on Jan. 8 allowing citizens to travel outside the Kingdom starting from March 31.
The list of countries includes Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus and any other countries in which the pandemic has not yet been controlled or the spread of the mutated strain of the virus has been evident.
The ministry said Saudi citizens who are in these countries or expecting to travel to them should urgently register at an embassy.
It also called on citizens wishing to travel to the permitted countries to exercise caution and stay away from busy areas, and to follow all precautionary measures.
Saudi Arabia has reported four new COVID-19-related deaths. The death toll now stands at 6,304.
A total of 175 new cases were reported, meaning 364,271 people have now contracted the disease. There are 1,954 active cases, 307 of them are in a critical condition.
In addition, 156 new patients had recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 356,013.


Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
Updated 25 January 2021

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
  • Saudi Arabia continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been ranked 14th internationally for its COVID-19 university research, rising from its previous 17th ranking, according to the database of the Web of Science.

The Kingdom continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states.

Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for education, for attaching great importance to research and innovation, and for supporting scientists and researchers in Saudi universities to become globally competitive.

He said that this achievement was a continuation of the efforts of the Kingdom in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflected the Kingdom’s capabilities when it came to managing crises.

Al-Sheikh said that Saudi universities had published 84 percent of the Kingdom’s COVID-19 research, and that the Kingdom had published 915 scientific papers by local scientists since the outbreak of the pandemic.

He thanked Saudi universities that contributed to publishing the research papers as well as the faculty members and researchers who were serving their community.

Al-Sheikh said that this achievement reflected the Ministry of Education’s keenness to organize events that enhanced the participation of Saudi universities, research centers, researchers and academics in supporting scientific research during the pandemic.

This was in addition to coordinating the efforts of universities through specialized workshops to improve the efficiency of research and its contribution to fighting COVID-19, discussing ways to prevent and treat the disease, and investing in the research capabilities of the staff of universities and research centers by finding scientific solutions that contributed to addressing the pandemic.