Saudi residents urged to use COVID-19 app to access public places as cases rise

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday recorded 306 new cases of COVID-19
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday recorded 306 new cases of COVID-19. (SPA)
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Updated 04 February 2021

Saudi residents urged to use COVID-19 app to access public places as cases rise

Saudi residents urged to use COVID-19 app to access public places as cases rise
  • Health Ministry reports 306 new coronavirus cases, 290 recoveries, 3 deaths

Saudi residents were on Wednesday urged to use a government app, launched to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in order to gain access to key public places.
Authorities say that by downloading the Ministry of Health-approved Tawakkalna app to mobile phones people will be able to prove their health status when entering government facilities, private sector establishments, and public areas such as shops and markets.
The Saudi ministries of commerce and justice along with the Kingdom’s Ports Authority, and Real Estate Development Fund, are among bodies that have already announced that entry to their buildings will now be conditional on having the app.
The move followed an announcement by the ministry on the concerning rise in numbers on Sunday. There had been a fourfold rise on last month in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom.
Residents in the Eastern Province have been using the Tawakkalna app to gain entry to offices and commercial premises in the region since Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) continued to carry out inspection tours in Riyadh, Baha, and other cities throughout the country to ensure COVID-19 health and safety rules were being adhered to. Officials reported a number of violations and closed some outlets for breaching regulations.

FASTFACTS

• 368,945 - Total cases

• 360,400 - Recoveries

• 6,386 - Deaths

Regional and central government officials have recently stepped up appeals for residents to stick to precautionary measures after the Ministry of Health warned tough new restrictions could be brought in if the public continued to ignore anti-virus precautions.
Mosque imams have also been requested to use part of their sermons on Friday to help raise awareness about the dangers of spreading COVID-19.
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday recorded 306 new cases of COVID-19 taking the total number of reported infections in the country to 368,945. The Riyadh region had the most confirmed cases at 124, while Eastern and Makkah provinces reported 58 and 53 cases, respectively.
There were 2,159 active cases in the Kingdom, of which 379 patients were in critical or serious condition.
Another 290 patients were added to the COVID-19 recovery total of 360,400 maintaining the country’s recovery rate of 97.6 percent.
Three people were reported as having died due to COVID-19-related complications, upping the death toll to 6,386.

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Saudi and Omani foreign ministers meet in Muscat

Saudi and Omani foreign ministers meet in Muscat
Updated 24 February 2021

Saudi and Omani foreign ministers meet in Muscat

Saudi and Omani foreign ministers meet in Muscat
  • The foreign ministers reviewed ways to support trade, investment and tourism opportunities
  • Prince Faisal arrived in Muscat earlier on Wednesday and has left the sultanate

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister met his Omani counterpart during a visit to the Gulf state on Wednesday.
During the meeting, Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Sayyed Badr Al-Busaidi discussed the importance of joint Gulf action within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and following up on the results of the AlUla summit hosted by the Kingdom in January.
They also discussed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen cooperation in various fields that would lead to mutual benefits.
The foreign ministers reviewed ways to support trade, investment and tourism opportunities and developing scientific cooperation in the areas of energy, technology, transportation, cybersecurity, health and agriculture.
Prince Faisal arrived in Muscat earlier on Wednesday and has left the sultanate.


Saudi Arabia allows citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points

Saudi Arabia allows citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points
Updated 24 February 2021

Saudi Arabia allows citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points

Saudi Arabia allows citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points
  • Saudis married to non-Saudis will be able to travel with spouses or join spouses abroad

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has authorized citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points, a measure meant to facilitate their movements while international air travel is suspended because of the pandemic, state TV reported on Wednesday.
“The General Directorate of Passports announced the issuance of the royal decree to enable Saudi women married to non-Saudis to travel, whether accompanied by their husbands or joining their husbands abroad, upon providing proof of marriage certificate to officials at the port of departure,” a statement on Saudi Press Agency said.
The same applies for Saudi men married to non-Saudi women, whether they reside outside of the Kingdom due to work or other circumstances preventing them from coming to the country, the statement added.
The passports authority said that in the event that citizens are not able to provide documents proving their spouse is outside the Kingdom and unable to return, then they can apply for a travel permit via the Absher application.

(With Reuters)


WFP thanks Saudi Arabia for $40m aid package to improve food security in Yemen

WFP thanks Saudi Arabia for $40m aid package to improve food security in Yemen
Updated 24 February 2021

WFP thanks Saudi Arabia for $40m aid package to improve food security in Yemen

WFP thanks Saudi Arabia for $40m aid package to improve food security in Yemen
  • The agreement will benefit more than 2.2 million people and ‘help avert famine In Yemen’

LONDON: The World Food Program (WFP) on Wednesday thanked Saudi Arabia for “providing effective food support” to the Yemeni people through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief).
WFP and KSrelief signed a $40 million joint cooperation agreement on Monday to support food security to the most affected people in Yemen, who “are exposed to all kinds of suffering and deprivation,” said David Beasley, executive director of WFP.
Beasley added that the Kingdom’s donation, through KSrelief, “will undoubtedly help avert famine In Yemen, and will feed at least 2.2 million people.
In a press statement, Beasley expressed his happiness with the existing strategic partnership between the center and the WFP.
“We have a lot of work to do now and in the future, and this agreement will provide us with the tremendous support we need,” he said.
Beasley also said that the coronavirus pandemic has brought many tragedies and economic deterioration across the globe.
“This support will make a big difference because the pandemic has greatly affected vulnerable groups and exacerbated the problem of famine in the world and Yemen is one of the countries that suffers from the most difficult living conditions.”


Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 24 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 367,015
  • A total of 6,475 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced five deaths from COVID-19 and 353 new infections on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 186 were recorded in Riyadh, 67 in the Eastern Province, 43 in Makkah, 10 in Madinah, nine in Asir, seven in Hail, three in Jazan and two in Najran.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 367,015 after 280 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,475 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.


Muslim women have always enjoyed prominent position in Islam, says MWL chief

Muslim women have always enjoyed prominent position in Islam, says MWL chief
MWL chief Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa speaks at on online seminar organized by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall. (SPA)
Updated 24 February 2021

Muslim women have always enjoyed prominent position in Islam, says MWL chief

Muslim women have always enjoyed prominent position in Islam, says MWL chief
  • Al-Issa stressed the need to combat the extremist narrative using intellectual means to root it out from the world

The secretary-general of the Muslim World League, Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, on Tuesday said the Muslim women always enjoyed a prominent position since the beginning of Islam and any violation of their rights are against the basic teachings of the religion.
He was speaking at an online seminar organized by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall.
Al-Issa said it is important to fight the wrong ideas about women propagated by extremist elements. He said armed struggle against terrorism and the deviant ideology is not enough. Al-Issa stressed the need to combat the extremist narrative using intellectual means to root it out from the world.
He stressed the need to promote dialogue between the East and the West to bridge the gap between different communities, cultures and civilizations.
The MWL chief blamed the trust deficit between different communities for violence. He explained the Islamic concept of moderation and its importance to promote global peace and harmony.
Al-Issa highlighted the efforts of the MWL in forging ties with several religious organizations around the world to spread its message of peace and coexistence.
Kim McCleary Blue, president of the World Affairs Council, praised the efforts of the MWL in promoting a culture of dialogue and cooperation between followers of different religions and cultures.