Saudi Arabia permits 10-minute sermons in mosques, as more shut due to COVID-19 measures

Saudi Arabia permits 10-minute sermons in mosques, as more shut due to COVID-19 measures
Virus cases have led to 364 mosques being forced to temporarily close over the past 46 days. (SPA/File)
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Updated 26 March 2021

Saudi Arabia permits 10-minute sermons in mosques, as more shut due to COVID-19 measures

Saudi Arabia permits 10-minute sermons in mosques, as more shut due to COVID-19 measures
  • Virus cases have led to 364 mosques being forced to temporarily close over the past 46 days

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance on Thursday said that sermons are allowed to be delivered in mosques but should not exceed 10 minutes.
The ministry said that lessons and lectures in mosques were still suspended and would continue remotely.
Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, minister of Islamic affairs called on all mosque employees to adhere to all precautionary COVID-19 measures to ensure the safety and health of worshipers.
Meanwhile, the ministry temporarily shut seven mosques in six regions after some worshippers tested positive for coronavirus.
Virus cases have led to 364 mosques being forced to temporarily close over the past 46 days, with 347 reopening after sanitization measures were completed.
The ministry said that two of the mosques were in Riyadh, and one in each of the regions of Tabuk, the Northern Borders, Madinah, Qassim and Eastern Province.
Eleven mosques have been reopened in Riyadh, Makkah, Asir and Najran. The decision came after precautionary measures, including sanitization and maintenance, were carried out.
The ministry praised the cooperation of worshippers and mosque employees in complying with health and safety requirements.
Authorities will continue to sanitize and clean mosques and implement measures to ensure the safety of visitors, the ministry added.

The Kingdom vs. COVID-19
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, Italian officials discuss cultural ties

Saudi, Italian officials discuss cultural ties
Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi, Italian officials discuss cultural ties

Saudi, Italian officials discuss cultural ties

RIYADH: Saudi Heritage Commission CEO Dr. Jasser Al-Harbash on Thursday met Italian Cultural Attache in Saudi Arabia Tommaso Claudi in Riyadh.

Al-Harbash praised the ongoing cultural cooperation between the Kingdom and Italy, and reviewed with Claudi the results of the Italian mission’s archaeological excavations in the Kingdom.

They discussed areas of heritage cooperation and ways to enhance them, and touched on scientific archaeological teams and their pivotal role in archaeological discoveries in the Kingdom. 


Saudi project clears 3,640 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi project clears 3,640 Houthi mines in Yemen
Updated 4 min 28 sec ago

Saudi project clears 3,640 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi project clears 3,640 Houthi mines in Yemen

RIYADH: The Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance in Yemen dismantled 3,640 Houthi mines in the third week of January.

This figure includes 2,994 anti-tank mines, 505 unexploded ordinances and 141 other explosive devices.

The project is one of several initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia to help ease the suffering of the Yemeni people.

The demining took place in Marib, Aden, Jouf, Shabwa, Taiz, Hodeidah, Lahij, Sanaa, Al-Bayda, Al-Dhale and Saada.

A total of 311,658 mines have been cleared since the start of the project. 


KSrelief starts rescue training project in Yemen

KSrelief starts  rescue training  project in Yemen
Updated 8 min 7 sec ago

KSrelief starts rescue training project in Yemen

KSrelief starts  rescue training  project in Yemen

MUKALLA: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center inaugurated a search and rescue training project in Mukalla city in Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate.

The project consists of seven training courses on various topics including first aid, first aid for blind people and those with special needs, firefighting and psychological aid, all of which will benefit 1,300 people.

The project aims to build the capacities of health and humanitarian aid workers, and volunteers in the emergency sectors, with all beneficiaries being issued international licenses. 


UK’s King’s College Hospital starts work on medical facility in Saudi Arabia

UK’s King’s College Hospital starts  work on medical facility in Saudi Arabia
Updated 14 min 10 sec ago

UK’s King’s College Hospital starts work on medical facility in Saudi Arabia

UK’s King’s College Hospital starts  work on medical facility in Saudi Arabia
  • The Jeddah hospital will have a capacity of 150 beds in its first phase and be staffed by more than 1,000 healthcare professionals from the UK and Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: King’s College Hospital in London announced that construction has begun on a world-class medical facility in Jeddah, in partnership with Ashmore Group and Saudi Bugshan Group.

The new hospital, set to open in 2023, will be the first in Saudi Arabia fully integrated with King’s College facilities in the UK, where it has 178 years of healthcare knowledge, experience and expertise.

“We are delighted that King’s, in partnership with Ashmore, is expanding its footprint to Saudi Arabia, following on from the success of our hospital and clinics in the UAE,” said Hugh Taylor, chairman of the hospital in London.

“King’s College Hospital has a long history of providing outstanding patient care in London, and as part of our strong roots and global reach strategy we remain committed to delivering outstanding care for patients in Saudi Arabia.”

The Jeddah hospital will have a capacity of 150 beds in its first phase and be staffed by more than 1,000 healthcare professionals from the UK and Saudi Arabia. It will benefit from knowledge sharing with King’s research centers in the UK.

Afnan Abdulfattah, who earned a doctorate in orthodontics from King’s College Dental Institute, told Arab News: “This makes me, first of all, excited and proud that one of the top, leading colleges has chosen to base one of its hospitals in Saudi Arabia.

“This will be very beneficial for the future of medical education in Saudi Arabia, where students will have a chance to benefit from the world’s top doctors, top facilities and the competencies of their own country, serving their country, serving nationals of Saudi Arabia and also residents of Saudi Arabia. It will enhance the field of medicine.”

The hospital’s authorities said it will use clinical innovation and smart technologies to provide treatments. More than 40 medical and surgical specialists occupying six specialized clinical floors will focus on women’s health, metabolic disease, bariatric surgery, orthopedics, and heart and vascular conditions.

King’s College in London, which is part of Britain’s National Health Service, has a long history of treating patients with complex conditions. It has more than 13,000 staff and treats more than a million patients each year. It is considered one of the country’s busiest hospitals and is also one of the largest teaching hospitals in London.

Its hospital in Jeddah will be the first in Saudi Arabia to partner with the UK’s NHS. In 2011, King’s College signed a collaboration agreement with King Fahd Medical City in Riyadh to provide education and training for nurses.

It also signed a partnership agreement with the Royal Commission for Riyadh City to open a school in the capital, which welcomed its first students, between the ages of three and eight, in August last year. The agreement includes education from kindergarten level through to high school. Students will benefit from the resources of an institution with 140 years of educational expertise and knowledge.

 


Quarantine violators to face prison, fines, deportations

Quarantine violators to face prison, fines, deportations
Updated 18 min 43 sec ago

Quarantine violators to face prison, fines, deportations

Quarantine violators to face prison, fines, deportations
  • Saudi Health Ministry reports 4,738 new infections, critical cases reach 825

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has announced that citizens who breach COVID-19 quarantine rules could face up to two years in prison and fines of SR200,000 ($53,330).

The announcement, made by the Ministry of Interior, added that expatriates violating the rules will be deported from the country and permanently banned from returning to the Kingdom, where approximately 10 million foreigners are living or working.

The strict measures come as part of the Saudi authorities’ policies to curb the spread of the virus.

The announcement also stressed that penalties would be doubled for those who have previously broken the rules.

Saudi Arabia confirmed 4,738 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 670,997.

Of the new cases, 1,559 were recorded in Riyadh, 573 in Jeddah, 189 in Dammam, 172 in Hofuf, 156 in Makkah, and 114 in Jazan.

Several other cities recorded fewer than 100 new cases each.

Health authorities also confirmed two new COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the Kingdom’s death toll to 8,929.

The Ministry of Health said that of the current cases, 825 remain in critical condition.

It added that 4,973 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 622,087.

More than 56.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign began, with more than 23.6 million people fully vaccinated.

The ministry, which has 587 vaccine centers throughout the Kingdom, urged people who have not yet received a jab to register to receive one through its Sehhaty app.

Meanwhile, testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have helped millions of people since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.