Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths
People arrive at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center to receive a dose of vaccine against COVID-19. (File/AFP)
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Updated 24 January 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 357,728
  • A total of 6,350 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

JEDDAH: The number of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia fell on Saturday to fewer than 200. The latest figure brought the overall number of confirmed cases in the Kingdom to 366,184. Of Saturday’s figure, 78 were recorded in the Riyadh region, 43 in the Eastern Province, 36 in Makkah and 10 in Madinah.
No cases were reported in the Northern Borders region.
There are currently 2,107 active cases in the Kingdom, including 329 in critical care.
Four COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Saturday, raising the total number to 6,350.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 357,728 after 203 more patients recovered from the virus. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is holding steady at 97.7 percent.
Among the Kingdom’s cities, Riyadh had the highest number of recoveries on Saturday with 56, followed by Jeddah with 24, Makkah with 13 and Dammam with 10. More than 11.9 million PCR tests have been conducted in the Kingdom since the beginning of the pandemic as part of the country’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and identify cases early. A total of 33,875 tests have been analyzed in the past 24 hours.


Saudis pay tribute to engineer for his services to the Zamzam well

Saudis pay tribute to engineer for his services to the Zamzam well
An undated photo of Yahya Hamza Koshak, who died at the age of 80. (Supplied)
Updated 18 sec ago

Saudis pay tribute to engineer for his services to the Zamzam well

Saudis pay tribute to engineer for his services to the Zamzam well
  • Yahya Hamza Koshak was considered an authority on the architecture and history of the ancient site

JEDDAH: Saudis on Tuesday were mourning the loss of Yahya Hamza Koshak following his death at the age of 80. An engineer by profession, he became famous for his services to the Zamzam well.

Koshak, also known as the “father of engineers,” was a former director general of the National Water Company and member of the Okaz Organization for Press and Publication.
He was born in Makkah, where his father, a merchant, worked during the Umrah season, serving as chairman of the Establishment of Motawifs of Pilgrims of Turkish Muslims of Europe America and Australia.
His mother was a close friend of the wife of the late King Faisal, Princess Effat, whom she met at the Makkah’s Grand Mosque.
Koshak studied in one of Taif city’s first schools after it was founded by King Faisal and Princess Effat.
He studied engineering at Ain Shams University in Cairo, but completed his degree in Riyadh. He later continued his education in the US, where he obtained a Ph.D. in engineering sciences.
His nephew Nabeel Koshak told Arab News that the late engineer was dear to those who worked with him.

FASTFACTS

• Yahya Hamza Koshak was born in Makkah.

• Koshak studied in one of Taif city’s first schools.

• He studied engineering at Ain Shams University in Cairo, but completed his degree in Riyadh.

• He later continued his education in the US, where he obtained a Ph.D. in engineering sciences.

• He led the cleaning team of the Zamzam well four decades ago.

• Koshak wrote a book, ‘Zamzam: The Holy Water,’ in which he recorded his observations inside the well.

“He was very social, close to people, and always kind and did not like to hurt anyone. He was light hearted — these were the characteristics that distinguished his personality.”
Koshak “was like a father to me,” and the family remained proud that he earned the trust of the Kingdom’s leadership, his nephew said.
“He greeted and received the king every year during the last 10 days of Ramadan.”
Koshak held a number of government positions in Makkah over a long career, including undersecretary for technical affairs at the Makkah Municipality.
He led the cleaning team of the Zamzam well four decades ago and wrote a book, “Zamzam: The Holy Water,” in which he recorded his observations inside the well.
“Cleaning the Zamzam well was one of his most important projects, a huge task under the direction of the late King Khalid,” his nephew said.
In his book, Koshak outlined the history of the well and its water sources, and also documented the archaeological objects found during the cleaning project.
The late engineer said: “By observation, it became clear that there are only two main sources of water, one toward the Kaaba, and the other toward Ajyad. As for the third source, which historical narratives said is on the side of Jabal Abu Qubays and Al-Safa, I found instead 12 small holes between building stones.”
Koshak’s interests included alternative medicine, which led to him establishing a specialist center in Jeddah.


Volunteers help Saudi job seekers find work via popular app

Volunteers help Saudi job seekers find work via popular app
According to a new report by mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, the Clubhouse app has grown from having more than 3.5 million global downloads in February 2020 to reaching 8.1 million by Feb. 16 this year. (Getty Images)
Updated 5 min 49 sec ago

Volunteers help Saudi job seekers find work via popular app

Volunteers help Saudi job seekers find work via popular app
  • The Clubhouse app has grown from having more than 3.5 million global downloads in February 2020 to reaching 8.1 million by Feb. 16 this year

JEDDAH: A group of recruitment experts in Saudi Arabia have joined forces to launch a jobs initiative via a popular new audio-only app.
The six volunteers have been giving up three hours a day to speak with job seekers on the Clubhouse social networking platform which is rapidly becoming a go-to staging post for connecting users with the country’s employers.
The team’s Employment Forum Initiative chat room aims to help link people with recruitment specialists and businesses throughout the Kingdom.
The forum is among a number of rooms set up on Clubhouse — that in recent weeks has been among the top three most popular social media apps in Saudi Arabia and worldwide — to discuss labor market needs, job interview techniques, freelancing opportunities, and other employment-related issues.
One of the forum’s founders, Saleh Al-Sodmi, told Arab News: “We are a group of volunteers representing ourselves in this initiative where we united our love of giving and compassion to help people. We are providing assistance to our fellow citizens, which we consider a duty, not a favor.”
Al-Sodmi and his colleagues all work in the human resources and recruitment sector but have been sacrificing their time on a daily basis to help Clubhouse users in their hunt for jobs.
During the first five days of the initiative, the group helped more than 20 people to find employment and numerous others to get job interviews, and Al-Sodmi expected more success stories as the app’s network of HR and recruitment specialists grew.
“It began with two young sisters who were looking for a job and started a room in Clubhouse for that purpose. Gradually many people within the recruitment field joined, and we agreed to carry on such meetings on a daily basis,” he said.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Employment Forum Initiative chat room aims to help link people with recruitment specialists and businesses throughout the Kingdom.

• The forum is among a number of rooms set up on Clubhouse — that in recent weeks has been among the top three most popular social media apps in Saudi Arabia and worldwide.

Between 700 and 1,000 users have been attending the group’s forums in recent days, and numbers are increasing.
According to a new report by mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, the Clubhouse app has grown from having more than 3.5 million global downloads in February 2020 to reaching 8.1 million by Feb. 16 this year.
Al-Sodmi added: “This initiative has shown how people love good and giving. Personally, all I want in return is an honest prayer. We can always help. Even when we do not have the proper job for the job seeker, we can still offer advice on how to improve their chances or overcome concerns.”
Maryam Saleh, a Clubhouse user, told Arab News: “I am truly fascinated with the idea, and I appreciate the moderators’ commitment to giving three hours of their time or sometimes more to help others.

We are providing assistance to our fellow citizens, which we consider a duty, not a favor.

Saleh Al-Sodmi, Co-founder

“I found out about it from my friend; I hope it grows further and helps young people to get the opportunities they deserve, especially those, like me, who graduated in these difficult times amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.”
Al-Sodmi said Clubhouse had helped users reach out to a wider audience and connect with people that were not as easily accessible via social media platforms.
“For instance, Clubhouse allowed the influencers’ privilege to dissolve and helped the different groups of societies to truly mingle amongst themselves and talk to each other.


“We have seen artists, economists, and CEOs connecting and interacting with the public easily and comfortably,” he added.
Hanan bin Fantokh, another volunteer recruitment specialist within the employment initiative, told Arab News that the platform has helped save recruiters’ time finding candidates and conducting initial interviews.
“It has also helped people break through their fear barrier by allowing them to introduce and market themselves publicly. It also helped many enhance their dialogue and persuasion skills.
“On the jobs front, many have started getting interviews, and some have signed contracts. However, the availability of jobs is less than the number of job seekers,” she added.


Saudi COVID vaccine campaign expanding as cases continue to rise

Saudi COVID vaccine campaign expanding as cases continue to rise
Updated 02 March 2021

Saudi COVID vaccine campaign expanding as cases continue to rise

Saudi COVID vaccine campaign expanding as cases continue to rise
  • The Kingdom said 286 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • The highest number of cases were recorded in Riyadh with 136

RIYADH: Pregnant women and children in Saudi Arabia have not yet been permitted to receive the coronavirus vaccine, said a health ministry spokesperson.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said that this is a temporary measure until further studies have been completed.
He said the vaccine operation is expanding, with 350 vaccination centers across the Kingdom, in addition to inoculations from mobile teams.
Al-Abd Al-Aly said the number of cases is still going through a phase of fluctuation and is being watched with caution after an increase in the number of daily infections during the first weeks of the year.
He said he hoped the preventive measures taken will lead to a decrease in the number of cases and help lead to a return to normal life.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia recorded five new COVID-19 related deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 6,505.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 302 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 378,002 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 2,571 remain active and 486 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 136, followed by the Eastern Province with 78, Makkah with 37, Al-Jouf recorded eight and Qassim confirmed six cases.
The ministry also announced that 286 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 368,926.
The ministry renewed its call on the public to adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 114 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 2.54 million.


Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia
Updated 02 March 2021

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said it intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward southern Saudi Arabia, Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.
Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said: “Joint coalition forces managed to intercept and destroy a booby-trapped drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in a systematic and deliberate manner to target civilians and civilian objects in the southern region.”
Col. Al-Maliki said Houthi attempts to attack civilians constitutes war crimes, adding that the coalition’s joint forces command has taken and implemented the necessary operational measures to protect civilians and civilian installations, in accordance with international humanitarian law.


Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccine will be prerequisite for Hajj

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccine will be prerequisite for Hajj
Updated 02 March 2021

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccine will be prerequisite for Hajj

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccine will be prerequisite for Hajj
  • Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said authorities must prepare appropriate manpower in the health sector in Makkah and Al-Madinah ahead of Hajj

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s health minister said in a statement that receiving a coronavirus vaccine will be a prerequisite for pilgrims, Arabic daily Okaz reported.
Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said authorities must prepare appropriate manpower in the health sector in Makkah and Al-Madinah ahead of the annual Islamic pilgrimage or Hajj, the report added.
Based on those preparations, “make the coronavirus vaccine a prerequisite for those who would like to perform Hajj,” Okaz quoted Al-Rabiah.

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