Relaxation over COVID-19 rules spikes cases in Saudi Arabia

Relaxation over COVID-19 rules spikes cases in Saudi Arabia
The Ministry of Health (MoH) recorded 186 new COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, raising the total number of infections to 366,371. (SPA)
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Updated 25 January 2021

Relaxation over COVID-19 rules spikes cases in Saudi Arabia

Relaxation over COVID-19 rules spikes cases in Saudi Arabia
  • Ministry reports 186 new cases, 211 recoveries, 2 deaths

RIYADH: The Ministry of Interior confirmed on Sunday that an expected rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases due to the mid-year school holidays had taken place.
It reiterated that citizens should continue to follow the health and safety protocols issued since the pandemic started.
Speaking at a joint ministerial press conference on Sunday, Interior Ministry spokesperson Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub said that in the past few days, Saudi authorities had announced a slight rise in new cases of COVID-19 across the Kingdom.
“This is attributed to the laxity by a few members in the community in following proper protocols put in place to combat the spread of the virus, as well as continuing to attend gatherings with numbers over the limits imposed by the government during the mid-year school holiday,” he said.
No more than 50 people can meet in private. Over 84,000 violations were recorded between mid-December to mid-Jan.
“It is in everyone’s interest to avoid any gatherings that do not comply with the necessary protocols, or do not follow the health and safety regulations put in place by the authorities to combat the spread,” he added.
He stressed that people should continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings as the pandemic is still ongoing.

FASTFACTS

366,371 Total cases

357,939 Recoveries

6,352 Deaths

“We want to reiterate that police and security will be following up on compliance with health and safety protocols, and recording violations such as refusing to wear a mask, and the continued hosting and attendance of large gatherings in all parts of the Kingdom, including residential areas, recreational centers, and smaller villages,” he said.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) recorded 186 new COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, raising the total number of infections to 366,371.
MoH spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly announced a 29 percent rise in confirmed cases in the past week compared to the previous week, which could be due to an increase in social activities during the winter break between the two semesters. A 4 percent increase in critical care patients was also announced.
“By adhering to protocols, we will ensure a decline and stabilize the numbers again,” he said.
The number of active cases was reported to be 2,080, with 331 reported to be in critical care.
The ministry also reported 211 new recoveries, bringing the total number up to 357,939. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is holding steady at 97.6 percent.
In the past 24 hours, the Kingdom reported just two deaths, bringing the total number to 6,352 since the pandemic began.

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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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WATCH: Saudi Crown Prince attends Formula E Diriyah E-Prix

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 45 min 26 sec ago

WATCH: Saudi Crown Prince attends Formula E Diriyah E-Prix

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)
  • Crown prince received good wishes as he arrived following successful operation

LONDON: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday.

The crown prince received good wishes from those in attendance as he arrived, following his successful operation earlier this week.

UNESCO World Heritage site Diriyah is host of the opening round of the FIA Formula E world championship this weekend.

In an electric opening race on Friday night, Mercedes-EQ driver Nyck de Vries claimed a maiden Formula E victory.

British driver Sam Bird in the Jaguar Racing car claimed victory in the second race of the weekend.


Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report
Updated 27 February 2021

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report
  • The Secretary-General of the OIC said it rejects “the incorrect conclusions contained” in the US report
  • Arab Parliament stresses pivotal role that the Kingdom plays in consolidating security in the Arab region

LONDON: Arab countries and organizations expressed their support on Saturday for a statement released by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry. The statement concerned the report provided to the US Congress on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a statement, Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry rejected anything that affects the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain’s Shoura Council affirmed “the prominent and pivotal role played by Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to lay down the foundations of regional and global security and peace.”
The council also praised diplomatic efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia through its foreign diplomacy in the region and the world, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed its confidence in and support for the Saudi judiciary, as well as the Kingdom’s commitment to enforcing the law with transparency and integrity and to holding those responsible for the murder to account.

The Ministry affirmed the UAE’s solidarity with Saudi Arabia in its efforts to maintain stability and security in the region and the key role it plays in maintaining moderation in the Arab world.

The UAE rejects any attempts to exploit the Jamal Khashoggi case or interfere in Saudi internal affairs, the ministry said.

Kuwait’s foreign ministry expressed its support for Saudi Arabia’s statement and stressed the important role played by the Kingdom in supporting moderation regionally and internationally and in denouncing extremism.

The ministry said that it categorically rejects any attempts to affect the Kingdom’s sovereignty.

 

Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed the Sultanate's solidarity with the Kingdom, saying it appreciated the efforts and actions of the competent judicial authorities in the Kingdom regarding the case and its outcome.

The Muslim World League (MWL) also affirmed its full support for Saudi Arabia’s statement.

MWL secretary-general Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said the league rejects the conclusions of the report and affirmed the confidence of the Muslim world, led by Saudi Arabia, in all measures taken by the Kingdom.

Al-Issa added that the league rejects any interference that affects the Kingdom’s sovereignty. 

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said it categorically rejects “the incorrect conclusions contained” in the US report which is “devoid of any conclusive evidence.”

The organization rejected attempts to infringe the Kingdom’s sovereignty, insult its leadership and compromise the independence of its judiciary.

It expressed support for all judicial measures that were taken against the perpetrators of the murder who were brought to justice, and the sentences that were issued.

The Arab Parliament affirmed its support for the Saudi statement and expressed its categorical rejection of any infringement of the sovereignty of the Kingdom and the independence of its judiciary.

The parliament stressed the pivotal role that the Kingdom plays in consolidating security and stability in the Arab region and the Middle East and its policy of supporting international peace.

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajjraf, affirmed his appreciation for the pivotal role the Kingdom plays in enhancing regional and international security and peace, and its great role in combating terrorism and supporting the efforts of the international community in this regard.

Al-Hajjraf said the report is nothing more than an opinion that is devoid of any conclusive evidence. He expressed his support for any measures that the Kingdom takes in order to preserve its rights and support its role in promoting a culture of moderation.

Yemen also rejected everything that might affect the sovereignty of the Kingdom and the independence of its judiciary.

 


Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 27 February 2021

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.


Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drones, ballistic missile attack targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drones, ballistic missile attack targeting Saudi Arabia
Updated 26 min 52 sec ago

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drones, ballistic missile attack targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drones, ballistic missile attack targeting Saudi Arabia
  • The Houthis launched two drones toward Khamis Mushayt and another toward Jazan. All were destroyed
  • Arab coalition also intercepted a ballistic missile attack targeting the capital Riyadh

LONDON: The Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed two Houthi drones targeting civilian areas in the Kingdom's southwestern city Khamis Mushayt and another targeting Jazan on Saturday.

The coalition also intercepted a ballistic missile attack targeting the capital Riyadh.

The coalition said it is monitoring a number of booby-trapped drones launched by the Houthis. 

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the Houthi militia’s attempts to attack civilians and civilian areas constitute a war crime.
He added that the coalition takes necessary operational measures to protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law.
The attempted attacks came a day after the Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed two Houthi drones and a ballistic missile targeting Saudi Arabia on Friday.


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 27 February 2021

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.”