Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations

An employee of the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources branch in Al-Baha region receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. (SPA)
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An employee of the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources branch in Al-Baha region receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations
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Eastern Province municipality carries out inspection tours to ensure adherence to virus precautionary measures. (SPA)
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Updated 11 April 2021

Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations

Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations
  • Due to a global shortage in vaccine manufacturing and delivery, MoH provided more room for first timers

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MoH) said it has postponed second dose appointments for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in order to ensure more of the Kingdom’s residents can receive their first dose.

According to the MoH, all second dose reservations will be rescheduled as of Sunday April 11 and will resume at a later time. The ministry added that due to a global shortage in vaccine manufacturing and delivery, they’ve provided more room for first timers, especially those in high risk categories, to receive theirs.
Over 6.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in the Kingdom so far, at a rate of 175,000 daily doses, which means 17.5 percent of the Kingdom has received at least one dose.
Municipalities coordinating with relevant authorities continue to inspect commercial establishments, especially in areas known to be overcrowded across the Kingdom. Jeddah municipality, with the participation of a number of relevant authorities, closed 81 shops in Al-Sawarikh International Market in the south of the governorate, after finding multiple violations, including failure to adhere to precautionary and preventive measures among visitors, and a lack of commitment to social distancing measures.

FASTFACT

Over 6.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in the Kingdom.

The MoH reported 878 new cases of COVID-19 in the Kingdom on Saturday, meaning 397,636 people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease.
The top three most infected regions were Riyadh with 410 infections, Makkah with 149 cases, and the Eastern Province with 141, while the lowest reported number of cases were in Baha, with just seven cases.
The number of active cases also rose, to 8,113 active cases in the Kingdom, 914 of them critical — a rise of 16 in the past 24 hours.
The ministry announced 578 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 382,776. Saudi Arabia’s recovery rate has decreased to 96.2 percent.
For the first time in nearly four months, the number of deaths reported in the Kingdom rose to double digits, as 10 new COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Saturday, raising the death toll to 6,747. A total of 61,640 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of tests in the Kingdom to 15,738,545.


Quarantine violators to face prison, fines, deportations

Quarantine violators to face prison, fines, deportations
Updated 5 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.


Saudi authorities arrest 5 people in Jeddah for smuggling amphetamine, other illegal pills

Saudi authorities arrest 5 people in Jeddah for smuggling amphetamine, other illegal pills
Updated 27 January 2022

Saudi authorities arrest 5 people in Jeddah for smuggling amphetamine, other illegal pills

Saudi authorities arrest 5 people in Jeddah for smuggling amphetamine, other illegal pills

RIYADH: Authorities arrested five people for attempting to distribute a large quantity of amphetamine pills and other tablets in western Saudi Arabia.
Maj. Mohammed Al-Nujaidi, spokesman of the General Directorate of Narcotics Control, said the arrests occurred during security monitoring of smuggling and drug promotion networks targeting the security of the Kingdom.
Al-Nujaidi said authorities arrested four citizens and a Somai national violating the border security system, and seized 829 amphetamine tablets, other illegal pills and tablets subject to medical regulation, after they appeared in a video clip riding in vehicles without license plates in a neighborhood in Jeddah.
He add that initial legal measures have been taken against the two citizens, and they have been referred them to the Public Prosecution.


Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses relations with Iraqi, Cypriot counterparts

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses relations with Iraqi, Cypriot counterparts
Updated 27 January 2022

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses relations with Iraqi, Cypriot counterparts

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses relations with Iraqi, Cypriot counterparts
  • Prince Faisal reviewed ways to develop Saudi-Iraqi ties
  • He congratulated his Cypriot counterpart on assuming his duties as foreign minister

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made a phone call to his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein to discuss aspects of Saudi-Iraqi relations, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.
During the call, they also discussed ways to support and enhance ties to serve the interests of the two countries, and strengthening joint bilateral coordination to protect regional stability and preserve international peace and security.
They also exchanged views on many regional and international developments, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, Prince Faisal received a phone call from his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides, where he congratulated him on assuming his duties as foreign minister and said he looked forward to working with him in strengthening relations between the two countries.
Kasoulides said his country condemned the repapeted cross-border attacks carried out by Yemen’s Houthi militia against the Kingdom’s territory.
During the call, the two ministers discussed bilateral relations and efforts to enhance cooperation and coordination in various fields, as well as regional and international issues of common interest. 


King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve gets 100,000 new trees

King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve gets 100,000 new trees
Updated 27 January 2022

King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve gets 100,000 new trees

King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve gets 100,000 new trees
  • Afforestation project at Rawdat Tinhat oasis is part of a goal to plant 5 million seedlings by 2025
  • Reserve was established in 2018 to preserve vulnerable and endangered plant and animal species

RIYADH: A major afforestation project is underway in Rawdat Tinhat, with 100,000 trees planted in the first phase alone.

The scheme is being handled by the Cooperative Society of Moringa and Desert Plants after being approved by the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification and the King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve.

The reserve’s CEO Maher Al-Gothmi told Arab News that the aim was to plant 5 million trees by 2025.

Rawdat Tinhat is one of the largest green oases in the Arabian Peninsula into which several valleys flow. Located about 180 km north of Riyadh, within the royal reserve, it is home to many tree and plant species, including acacias and daisies.

The afforestation project is one of several agreed by the center with environmental associations to plant trees and shrubs in parks, valleys and other areas in the Riyadh, Qassim and Hail regions.

The projects reflect the center’s efforts to support nonprofit organizations and community partnerships, and align with its aim to increase green areas and reduce desertification, leading to sustainable development and improving quality of life as part of the Saudi Green Initiative.

The reserve is working with the Special Forces for Environmental Security and other groups to plant 500,000 seedlings in seven stages that will be irrigated using the water harvesting method. The 100,000 seedlings planted in the first phase included ghaf, talh, al-rimth and al-arfaj.

The royal reserve was established in 2018 to preserve vulnerable and endangered plant and animal species, and provide access to the environment and natural resources. It encompasses Al-Tanhat, Al-Khafs and Noura parks, as well as parts of the Al-Summan plateau and the Al-Dahna desert, and covers about 28,000 sq. km.

Al-Gothmi said the reserve was working to increase vegetation cover and reduce desertification through various initiatives, including the use of drones to disperse 300,000 seeds of the wild sidr plant as part of the “Let’s make it green” campaign.

Ibrahim Arif, an environmental expert and former professor of forest sciences at King Saud University, said that one of the most important factors in the afforestation process was maintenance.

As well as having a specialist team to undertake the planting work it was vital to implement a maintenance program to ensure the success of the afforestation process, he said.

A successful afforestation project was an investment that could provide not only a food source for wild animals, but also opportunities for beekeeping and other activities of economic value, he added.

Arif emphasized the importance of planting seedlings, rather than more developed trees, as they had more time to adapt to their new environment and could cope better with temperature changes.


Fire breaks out at industrial zone in Riyadh

Fire breaks out at industrial zone in Riyadh
Updated 27 January 2022

Fire breaks out at industrial zone in Riyadh

Fire breaks out at industrial zone in Riyadh
  • Firefighters are working to extinguish the flames

RIYADH: A fire has broken out in warehouses at an industrial zone in Riyadh, Saudi Civil Defense said on Thursday.

Firefighters are working to extinguish the flames, it added in a tweet.