Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccine a ‘must’ for Hajj healthcare workers

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccine a ‘must’ for Hajj healthcare workers
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on June 23, 2020, shows Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (File/AFP)
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Updated 03 March 2021

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccine a ‘must’ for Hajj healthcare workers

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccine a ‘must’ for Hajj healthcare workers
  • Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said authorities must prepare appropriate manpower in the health sector in Makkah and Al-Madinah ahead of Hajj

JEDDAH: Receiving the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is a must for health workers participating in the Hajj season 2021, Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah has said.
“You must prepare early to secure the manpower required to operate the health facilities in Makkah, the holy sites and Madinah, and the entry points for pilgrims for the 2021 Hajj season,” he said in an official circular.
“A vaccination committee must be formed for the Hajj and Umrah season, on which they have adopted the compulsory reception of the COVID-19 vaccine for participating healthcare workers,” he added.
Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly told a press conference on Tuesday that quarantine is not required after contact with someone who has been vaccinated and completed immunization.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia reported 302 new virus cases on Tuesday.

• There are 2,571 active cases, 508 of which are in critical condition.

“Anyone who received the vaccine and passed two to three weeks after completing the vaccination is not required to quarantine after getting into contact with an infected person,” he said.
The epidemic curve of the COVID-19 infections is going through a “fluctuating” phase, he said, adding that the authorities are watching it carefully.
Meanwhile, the ministry declared March 2 of each year the “Health Martyr Day” in recognition of the significant role played by the healthcare heroes, who devoted their lives to their work and people’s health.
The ministry will also provide psychological and social support for their families.
Saudi Arabia reported five more COVID-19-related deaths on Tuesday. The death toll now stands at 6,505.
The ministry reported 302 new cases, meaning that 378,002 people have now contracted the disease. There are 2,571 active cases, 508 of which are in critical condition.
According to the ministry, 136 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 78 in the Eastern Province, 37 in Makkah, and five in Madinah.
In addition, 286 patients had recovered from the disease, bringing the total to 368,926 recoveries.
Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 885,411 people having been inoculated.

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Saudi Housing Ministry’s Sakani program launches four new services

Saudi Housing Ministry’s Sakani program launches four new services
Updated 3 min 50 sec ago

Saudi Housing Ministry’s Sakani program launches four new services

Saudi Housing Ministry’s Sakani program launches four new services

RIYADH: The Ministry of Housing’s Sakani program launched new e-services as part of its efforts to facilitate an increase in Saudi home ownership to 70 percent by 2030, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
The app, which allows users to access four new services, can be downloaded at: qrco.de/bc5N3L.
The services include electronic financing, ready-made units, approved contractor, and interactive maps.
The services had been added to ensure Sakani becomes “the go-to destination for housing services and solutions, in order to make it easier for Saudi families to own their first home.”


Saudi minister’s vaccine plea as daily virus cases rise above 1,000

Saudi minister’s vaccine plea as daily virus cases rise above 1,000
Updated 20 min 7 sec ago

Saudi minister’s vaccine plea as daily virus cases rise above 1,000

Saudi minister’s vaccine plea as daily virus cases rise above 1,000
  • We will be in a seriously critical state if numbers rise above 1,500, expert warns

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah has urged people living in the Kingdom to be vaccinated against coronavirus as COVID-19 infections continue to rise, climbing above 1,000 new cases a day.
“More than 950 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered around the world, and the vaccine has demonstrated a high level of safety and efficacy,” Al-Rabiah said on Twitter.
“Advice from the heart, take the step and get the vaccine for your health and safety,” he added.
Al-Rabiah said that over 3 million people have died from COVID-19, and more than 100 million people suffer from the effects of the disease.
King Saud University professor of anesthesiology and intensive care Nasser Tawfiq blamed the recent spike in cases on violations of health protocols in the weeks before Ramadan as people were preparing for the holy month.
In an interview with Al-Ekhbariya channel, Tawfiq said that cases are now increasing weekly compared with last year when numbers rose day after day.
Breaking any numbers barrier will take longer, “and the best way to make a difference is with vaccines,” he said.
“We will be in a seriously critical state if numbers rise above 1,500,” warned Tawfiq.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry urged people to follow precautionary and preventive measures, including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.
Forty-four percent of infections occur and become contagious before any symptoms appear, the ministry explained on Twitter. 
Saudi Arabia reported 11 more COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday. The death toll now stands at 6,869.
The Health Ministry reported 1,055 new cases, meaning that 409,093 people have now contracted the disease. There are 9,776 active cases, with 1,182 of these in critical condition.
According to the ministry, 468 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 220 in Makkah, 157 in the Eastern Province and 45 in Madinah.
In addition, 824 patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 392,448.
Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 16,414,039 PCR tests, with 61,923 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their jabs of the coronavirus vaccine, with 7,713,668 people having been inoculated so far.


Tunisian Minister of Defense receives the Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia

Tunisian Minister of Defense receives the Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia
Updated 49 min 31 sec ago

Tunisian Minister of Defense receives the Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia

Tunisian Minister of Defense receives the Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia

TUNIS: The Tunisian Minister of Defense Ibrahim Bartagi met today Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al-Saqr, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Tunisia, accompanied with General Mohammed bin Turki Al-Subaie, Saudi Arabia’s military attache in Tunisia.

The Tunisian Minister of Defense expressed his country’s desire to elevate the level of joint cooperation between the two brotherly countries at all military levels related to formation and training, praising the high level of the military schools and academies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He also praised the good relations between Tunisia and the Kingdom, and their continuous progress and improvement.

For his part, Ambassador Al-Saqr praised the keenness of Tunisia to open new channels of cooperation with the Kingdom, assuring the keenness and aim of the Kingdom to strengthen cooperation with all friendly and brotherly countries.


Who’s Who: Deemah Al-Yahya, secretary-general of the Digital Cooperation Organization

Who’s Who: Deemah Al-Yahya, secretary-general of the Digital Cooperation Organization
Updated 52 min 13 sec ago

Who’s Who: Deemah Al-Yahya, secretary-general of the Digital Cooperation Organization

Who’s Who: Deemah Al-Yahya, secretary-general of the Digital Cooperation Organization

Deemah Al-Yahya was recently appointed as the first secretary-general of the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO).
The international body, founded by Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, aims to achieve prosperity, social stability, and growth of the digital economy by unifying efforts to advance digital transformation.
Al-Yahya is the founder and chief executive officer of ALMTD Consulting, a specialized company offering advisory services on digital innovation strategies, corporate venture building, and large-scale conceptualization.
She is also CEO and founder of Women Spark, the first Saudi women’s angel investment network, which has trained more than 26,000 women in the technology industry since its inception in 2013.
Al-Yahya has worked in the private and public sectors, advising, designing, and orchestrating key strategic programs and initiatives, including as head of Misk Innovation, CEO of the National Digital Transformation Unit, chief innovation evangelist of Microsoft, and director of e-services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She has served on a number of boards, including the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones, the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council for digital economy and society, the Global Entrepreneurship Network, among others.
Al-Yahya completed two executive education programs on innovation culture and strategy at Harvard Business School, along with two executive education programs on digital transformation, business development, and financial acumen at INSEAD. She gained a bachelor’s degree in computer science and information systems from King Saud University.


Saudi Border Guards rescue 6 after boat breaks down near Jeddah

Saudi Border Guards rescue 6 after boat breaks down near Jeddah
Updated 58 min 35 sec ago

Saudi Border Guards rescue 6 after boat breaks down near Jeddah

Saudi Border Guards rescue 6 after boat breaks down near Jeddah
  • All crew members were rescued and are in ‘good health’

JEDDAH: Saudi authorities rescued six people after their boat malfunctioned at sea off the coast of Jeddah.
“Maritime patrols in the Obhur and Khaleej Salman (Salman Bay) centers in Jeddah received a call on the emergency number saying that a boat had malfunctioned at sea, with six citizens onboard,” said Lt. Col. Faris bin Musfer Al-Maliki, media spokesman for the Border Guards in Makkah.

He said all crew members were rescued and are in “good health,” adding that they helped them tow their boat back to the marina.
Al-Maliki called on all boat owners to take care and caution, perform regular maintenance on their vessels, and equip them with maritime safety, navigation, and communication devices.
He also said that anyone requiring assistance should call the border guard emergency number (994).