Two more COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Saudi Arabia

Two more COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Saudi Arabia
Saudi health clinics are being set up around the country by the Ministry of Health to treat coronavirus patients. (SPA)
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Updated 19 January 2021

Two more COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Saudi Arabia

Two more COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Saudi Arabia
  • AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines can now be used in addition to the previously approved Pfizer/BioNTech shot

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Health has approved two additional COVID-19 vaccines, developed by AstraZeneca and Moderna, for use in the Kingdom. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is already being used to immunize people in the country.

Ibrahim Al-Oraifi, director general of health affairs in the Eastern Province, told Al Arabiya news channel that there is global competition for available supplies of vaccines, and that the demand for the Pfizer vaccine is “great.” However he added that Saudi authorities have secured good quantities and vaccination efforts are being stepped up.
“There is an increase in the number of workers in vaccine centers in the Kingdom as they gain good experience, where the workflow became faster and larger with the expansion of the reception halls for the vaccine recipients,” he added.
A vaccination center in Al-Ahsa is ready to open, Al-Oraifi said, and just waiting for the delivery of vaccines. “We will start within a week or two,” he added. “Meanwhile work is underway to equip the Hafar Al-Batin center, which is expected to start operating next month.”
He said that about 400,000 people in the Eastern Province have registered through the ministry’s Sehhaty health services app to receive vaccinations, and about 60,000 people have already been inoculated. Nationwide, more than 2 million people registered for the vaccine in the first month after the registration process was launched.

FASTFACTS

365,099 Total cases

356,848 Recoveries

According to statistics for the past month, the Ministry of Health is currently receiving 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine a week. It aims to reach at least 80 percent immunity among the population through vaccination.
Saudi authorities on Monday recorded six additional deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the death toll in the country to 6,329. A further 170 cases of infection have been confirmed, meaning 365,099 people in the Kingdom have contracted the disease. Of these, 1,922 remain active and 317 patients are in critical condition.
The ministry said 67 of the new cases are in Riyadh, 38 in Makkah, 25 in the Eastern Province and 22 in Madinah. Another 161 patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the number of recoveries to 356,848. The total number of PCR tests carried out in the country now stands at 11,713,996, including 45,064 in the previous 24 hours.

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How Saudi Arabia acted swiftly and coordinated a global response to fight the coronavirus, preventing a far worse crisis at home and around the world

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Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 52 min ago

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 368,011
  • A total of 6,488 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced five deaths from COVID-19 and 338 new infections on Saturday.
Of the new cases, 179 were recorded in Riyadh, 70 in the Eastern Province, 42 in Makkah, 10 in Asir, seven in Madinah, three in Hail, three in Jazan and two in Najran.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 368,011 after 320 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,488 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.


Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia
Updated 4 min 19 sec ago

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone targeting civilian areas in Khamis Mushait city, southwest of Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
The spokesman of the Saudi-led Arab coalition, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said that the Houthi militia’s attempts to attack civilians and civilian areas constituted as a war crime.
He stressing that the coalition took necessary operational measures to protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law.

The attempted drone attack came a day after the Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed two Houthi drones targeting Saudi Arabia’s southern region on Friday and a ballistic missile fired by the militia toward the Kingdom later on in the day.


Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia
Updated 4 min 11 sec ago

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said Washington’s relationship with Saudi Arabia was important and that the relationship reflected shared interests and values between the two countries.
“The relationship with Saudi Arabia is an important one. We have significant ongoing interests. We remain committed to the defense of the Kingdom,” Blinken said during a press conference at the US State Department, as reported by CNN on Saturday.
The secretary of state also reiterated the United States’ interests to continue doing business with the Kingdom, stating that the relationship was “bigger than any one individual.”
Blinken also affirmed that US officials, including himself and President Joe Biden, had spoken with their Saudi counterparts.
Meanwhile, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Friday that Saudi Arabia remained “a strategic partner in the region.”
“From a military perspective, as I've said many times, we take seriously our security commitments to Saudi Arabia with respect to their ability to defend themselves, and they do need to defend themselves, particularly along that southern border.”


Saudi Arabian Military Industries signs deals at IDEX

Saudi Arabian Military Industries signs deals at IDEX
Updated 27 February 2021

Saudi Arabian Military Industries signs deals at IDEX

Saudi Arabian Military Industries signs deals at IDEX
  • SAMI also agreed to be a strategic partner of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI in next year’s IDEX

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) signed several cooperation agreements with international companies and government authorities during the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) this week.

SAMI, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), aims to enhance the Kingdom’s defense capabilities and localize its military industry as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

“We are pleased to achieve outstanding success through our participation in IDEX 2021,” Walid bin Abdulmajeed Abu Khaled, CEO of SAMI, said.

“This will lead us to new achievements and make Saudi Arabia one of the leading manufacturers of military systems in the world.”

SAMI signed a joint venture agreement with the US firm Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest military defense company. The venture will develop capabilities in manufacturing software technologies, along with the production, maintenance, and repair of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

SAMI also signed a cooperation agreement with Nimr, which is part of the Abu Dhabi-based EDGE Technology Group. The deal will allow both companies to work together on armored military and security vehicles. It also marks the first collaboration in the field of military industries between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) also signed an agreement with SAMI to be a strategic partner in next year’s IDEX.

During the five-day exhibition, GAMI Gov. Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ohali visited the Saudi pavilion along with Saudi Ambassador to the UAE Turki bin Abdullah Al-Dakhil.

The pavilion also welcomed Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the UAE’s deputy prime minister.

 

 

 

 


US not aiming ‘to rupture relationship’ with Kingdom: Politico

King Salman and US President Joe Biden recently discussed strengthening partnership during phone call. (Reuters/File Photo)
King Salman and US President Joe Biden recently discussed strengthening partnership during phone call. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 27 February 2021

US not aiming ‘to rupture relationship’ with Kingdom: Politico

King Salman and US President Joe Biden recently discussed strengthening partnership during phone call. (Reuters/File Photo)
  • Saudis show wide support at home for MBS, describe CIA report as speculative

RIYADH: US President Joe Biden and his administration may be seeking a recalibration of its relationship with Saudi Arabia, but is adamant not to rupture the relationship with the Kingdom, a senior US official said.

Speaking to Politico, the official said that there are “important interests” the US shares with Saudi Arabia. The administration views the Kingdom as an important partner in the Middle East, and it has promised to keep supporting the country as it defends itself against attacks blamed on Iran.

The official’s comments came after a classified CIA report was released on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, who was killed by a group of rogue Saudi agents in Istanbul in 2018.

Despite a lot of hype that preceded the release of the report, many observers have described it as too analytical and lacking evidence.

“No smoking gun,” CNN’s International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson said.

Israeli journalist and commentator Barak Ravid wrote on Twitter: “US intelligence report on Khashoggi, which is 100% analysis and 0% information, raises real concerns about the quality of access US intelligence agencies have in Saudi Arabia.”

Meanwhile, in the Kingdom, Saudis took to social media to show support for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who underwent a successful surgical procedure on Wednesday morning to treat appendicitis.

Saudi journalist Abdulrahman Al-Rashed tweeted there was nothing new in the declassified CIA report. He described those who were betting on Biden to damage the relationship with Saudi Arabia as “ignorant of how the world operates.”

Saudi columnist Salman Al-Dossari tweeted that the Biden administration should be praised for publishing the CIA report, saying that the findings support Saudi court rulings.

Last September, Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution announced the final sentences for the eight people convicted of the Khashoggi murder.

Five of them received 20-year jail sentences for their involvement in the killing. Another was sentenced to 10 years while two others received seven years. Commenting on the verdict, the Khashoggi family called the judgment “fair and dissuasive.”