Vaccination not required to perform Umrah in Ramadan

On Twitter, the ministry’s customer service center account said that inoculations are not a requirement yet to get permission for Umrah during Ramadan. (SPA)
On Twitter, the ministry’s customer service center account said that inoculations are not a requirement yet to get permission for Umrah during Ramadan. (SPA)
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Updated 01 April 2021

Vaccination not required to perform Umrah in Ramadan

Vaccination not required  to perform Umrah in Ramadan
  • Workers in sectors providing Hajj and Umrah-related services required to be inoculated before Ramadan starts on April 12
  • Workers not vaccinated must provide proof of a negative PCR test result, renewable every 7 days

JEDDAH: Pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah during Ramadan this year will not have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

While answering a query about vaccinations on Twitter, the ministry’s customer service center account said that inoculations are not a requirement yet to get permission for Umrah during Ramadan.

However, the ministry earlier this week issued a circular that requires sectors operating in Hajj and Umrah-related services to vaccinate their entire staff before Ramadan starts on April 12. Workers not vaccinated must provide proof of a negative PCR test result, renewed every seven days at the facility’s expense.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing said that it will intensify inspection tours during Ramadan at gathering places to ensure social distancing.

Authorities have shut down 11 mosques in six regions around the Kingdom after 11 cases of COVID-19 were reported among worshippers.

INNUMBER

390,007 - total number of COVID-19 cases

378,083 - total number of recoveries

6,669 - total number of deaths

The Saudi Ministry of Health announced there are 5,255 active COVID-19 cases as 585 had been reported in the past 24 hours. Of the active cases, 693 are in critical condition.

The total number of infections in the Kingdom to date is 390,007.

Of the newly reported cases, 234 were recorded in Riyadh, followed by Makkah (103) and the Eastern Province (110). The regions with the lowest recorded numbers were Najran and Baha with five cases each.

The MoH reported 369 new recoveries, raising the total number to 378,083. The Kingdom’s recovery rate has decreased to 96.9 percent.

Six people died due to complications from COVID-19, which raised the national death toll to 6,669.

Since the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign in the Kingdom last December, the ministry has administered 4.4 million inoculations.

More than 60,000 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of PCR tests administered in the Kingdom to more than 15 million.

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Saudi-Egyptian naval training begins 

Saudi-Egyptian naval training begins 
Updated 25 January 2022

Saudi-Egyptian naval training begins 

Saudi-Egyptian naval training begins 
  • The Morgan-17 exercises aim to enhance joint cooperation between the navies of both countries
  • The ongoing Tabul-5 exercises in the Kingdom involve Saudi and Egyptian special forces, infantry, armored vehicles and various specialized weapons

CAIRO: Joint training between the Saudi and Egyptian navies has begun and will last for several days.

The Morgan-17 exercises include “many theoretical lectures and training conferences, as well as implementing many practical activities, including the implementation of several tactical shootings by the naval special forces of both sides with various small arms, as well as the implementation of surface-to-surface artillery firing on a target, carrying out surface-to-air shooting at an air target, and executing sailing formations,” said Egyptian Army spokesman Ghareeb Abdel Hafez.

Morgan-17 “aims to enhance joint cooperation between the navies of both countries, unify the operational concepts between the two sides in the methods of carrying out naval tasks against various threats, and train crews of naval units on the tasks of various naval wars and special forces tasks, which contributes to raising the combat efficiency of the navies of both countries,” he added.

The ongoing Tabuk-5 exercises in the Kingdom involve Saudi and Egyptian special forces, infantry, armored vehicles and various specialized weapons.


Saudi Arabia reports 4,541 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

Saudi Arabia reports 4,541 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths
Updated 25 January 2022

Saudi Arabia reports 4,541 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

Saudi Arabia reports 4,541 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 611,342
  • A total of 8,924 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced two deaths from COVID-19 and 4,541 new infections on Tuesday.

Of the new cases, 1,523 were recorded in Riyadh, 603 in Jeddah, 175 in Madinah, 149 in Hofuf, 148 in Dammam, and 101 in Makkah. Several other cities recorded less than one hundred new cases each.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 611,342 after 5,212 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,924 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 55.7 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi cabinet of ministers meets in person for first time in two years

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs a weekly Council of Ministers meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs a weekly Council of Ministers meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 3 min 6 sec ago

Saudi cabinet of ministers meets in person for first time in two years

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs a weekly Council of Ministers meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
  • The Cabinet reiterated its condemnation of Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE
  • It also discussed the outcomes of the South Korean president's recent visit to the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday chaired a Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.
The Council of Ministers was briefed on the written message that the king received from South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit regarding bilateral relations and ways to support and develop them at all levels.
It reviewed the outcomes of meetings and talks that the Kingdom held with a number of countries. 
These meetings were aimed at supporting ties, and bilateral and multilateral cooperation in a way that would take relations to new horizons, enhance joint coordination toward international issues, and contribute to the consolidation of security, stability, prosperity, and development in the region and the world.
The council discussed the results of the visit by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Saudi Arabia and the talks he had with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during which the two sides reviewed and discussed bilateral relations, ways to support and enhance them. They also discussed regional and international developments and the efforts made in this regard. The council was also briefed on the various field agreements that were reached during the visit.


Acting Media Minister Majed Al-Qasabi told the official Saudi Press Agency that the council discussed developments in various arenas and reiterated the Kingdom’s rejection and condemnation of the attacks launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia on civilians and vital installations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as its attacks on international navigation routes in the Red Sea aimed at destabilizing the region’s security and stability.
The minister added that the council stressed the urgent need for international action, especially by the UN Security Council, to put an end to this aggressive behavior in a manner that preserved international peace and security.
He said the Cabinet touched on what representatives from Western and Gulf Arab countries had concluded after their meeting in Riyadh where they discussed joint efforts to support the stability and prosperity of Sudan.
The Council of Ministers approved draft agreements with Pakistan on prisoner transfer, combating crime, and a memorandum of understanding on combating drug trafficking. It also authorized the minister of interior, or his representative, to negotiate with other countries regarding cooperation against similar crimes.
It commissioned the tourism minister to discuss with Jamaica a draft memorandum of understanding in the field of tourism. 


A cooperation agreement between the Saudi Ministry of Tourism and the World Tourism Organization to develop human capabilities through e-learning was also approved.
The council also approved an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for cooperation in the field of direct investment promotion, and a draft declaration of intent between the Saudi Ministry of Finance and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. It authorized the Kingdom’s minister of finance, or his representative, to negotiate with the British side in this regard.
The council authorized the chairman of the board of directors at the Saudi Food and Drug Authority to discuss a draft memorandum of cooperation between the Kingdom and Malaysia in the field of mutual recognition of halal certificates for local products.
It approved employee appointments and promotions in several ministries and state agencies.
The in-person appearance of the king at the meeting reflects how Saudi Arabia is returning to normal life despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It also coincides with the return of millions of students to schools.


Saudia to launch direct flights from Paris to AlUla

Saudia to launch direct flights from Paris to AlUla
Updated 25 January 2022

Saudia to launch direct flights from Paris to AlUla

Saudia to launch direct flights from Paris to AlUla
  • Regular flights will depart from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport every Sunday from Jan. 30 until Mar. 27

DUBAI: National carrier Saudi Airlines (Saudia) is inaugurating on Jan. 27 direct flights from Paris to the historic oasis of AlUla as the Kingdom seeks more avenues to promote the UNESCO heritage site.

The new air route provides a unique opportunity for French travellers and travellers from neighboring countries to be among the first explorers to visit this extraordinary region, a statement said.

Regular flights will depart from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport every Sunday from Jan. 30 until Mar. 27 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft that would be deployed would land at AlUla after five hours, it added.

Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer said: “The French are intrepid travellers, always keen to be the first to experience the new. We … hope that many Europeans will take the opportunity to visit our heritage sites and perhaps take in some of our winter events as the flights will run till March 27.”

The winter events season at AlUla features four major festivals on offer until the end of March: Winter at Tantora, AlUla Arts, AlUla Skies and AlUla Wellness.

“This is our first international direct flight to AlUla and we believe one of many as more of our guests around the world are showing an eagerness to explore our country’s history and culture,” Hazem Sonbol, Passenger Sales Vice President of Saudia, said in the statement.

Gérard Mestrallet, Executive President of AFALULA, meanwhile said: “Since the intergovernmental agreement signed by Saudi Arabia and France in April 2018 on AlUla sustainable development, the collaboration between the Saudi and French economic and cultural ecosystems, led by the Royal Commission for AlUla and AFALULA, has proven to be increasingly intense and fruitful.

“Following the access, since September 2019, to tourist visas for Saudi Arabia, the opening of a direct air route from Paris will bolster the attractiveness of this unique cultural destination.”


Thai PM meets Saudi crown prince during two-day visit to Saudi Arabia

Thai PM meets Saudi crown prince during two-day visit to Saudi Arabia
Updated 25 January 2022

Thai PM meets Saudi crown prince during two-day visit to Saudi Arabia

Thai PM meets Saudi crown prince during two-day visit to Saudi Arabia
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prayut Chan-o-cha exchanged views and consulted on various issues
  • The prime minister’s two-day visit comes in response to an invitation from Prince Mohammed

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince met with Thailand’s prime minister for talks at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prayut Chan-o-cha exchanged views and consulted and coordinated on various issues in order to achieve common interests, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The prime minister’s two-day visit comes in response to an invitation from Prince Mohammed, and in return, Prayut invited the crown prince to visit Thailand soon, Al Arabiya reported. 

On arrival in Riyadh, Prayut was greeted at King Khalid International Airport by Riyadh Deputy Gov. Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdul Aziz.

The prime minister told Al Arabiya that the foreign and energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and Thailand had discussed strengthening cooperation.