6.5 million vaccinated in Saudi Arabia as virus cases continue to climb

6.5 million vaccinated in Saudi Arabia as virus cases continue to climb
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The Riyadh region recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. (SPA)
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 137 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 2.95 million. (File/SPA)
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The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 137 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 2.95 million. (File/SPA)
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Updated 14 April 2021

6.5 million vaccinated in Saudi Arabia as virus cases continue to climb

6.5 million vaccinated in Saudi Arabia as virus cases continue to climb
  • The Kingdom said 608 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 951 new infections reported across Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudis and expatriates in the Kingdom continue to receive their jabs of the coronavirus vaccine, with 6,450,278 people having been inoculated so far.

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported 951 new cases, meaning that 400,228 people have now contracted the disease since the beginning of the outbreak. There are 8,820 cases that remain active, 962 of whom are in critical condition.
According to the ministry, 389 of the newly recorded cases were in the Riyadh region, 212 in the Makkah region, 144 cases were reported in the Eastern Province and 32 in the Madinah region.
In addition, 608 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the total to 384,635 recoveries.

Saudi Arabia reported eight more COVID-19-related deaths. The death toll now stands at 6,773.
The health authorities have so far conducted 15,919,088 PCR tests, with 61,853 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

FASTFACTS

• The total number of confirmed cases since the outbreak of the pandemic has reached 400,228.

• Saudi Arabia reported eight more COVID-19-related deaths on Tuesday.

• 608 more patients have recovered from the disease.

Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
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 the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments to either services can also be made through the ministry’s Sehhaty app.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health clarified the required measures in the event of a high body temperature following the COVID-19 vaccine.
The ministry said, in this case, it is possible to take a pain killer and antipyretic such as paracetamol when necessary, with the appropriate dose for the case, noting that common side effects after vaccine administration include fatigue, headache, pain at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, a high temperature and shivering.
This came in response from the ministry, through its official account on Twitter, to a question about the AstraZeneca vaccine and the accompanying symptoms.


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 15 sec ago

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.


King Salman appoints new board to help SAIP become regional IP hub

King Salman appoints new board to help SAIP become regional IP hub
Updated 9 min 49 sec ago

King Salman appoints new board to help SAIP become regional IP hub

King Salman appoints new board to help SAIP become regional IP hub
  • Authority aims to be focal point for intellectual property in MENA by 2030

JEDDAH: King Salman has appointed several executives and government vice ministers to the board of the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property to help it become a globally recognized IP hub for the Middle East and North Africa.

The appointments include Osama bin Abdul Aziz Al-Zamil, deputy minister of industry and mineral resources; Haitham Abdulrahman Al-Ohali, vice minister of communications and information technology; Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, deputy minister of culture; Deemah bint Yahya Al-Yahya, secretary-general of the Digital Cooperation Organization; and Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Samari, CEO of the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority.

Board Chairman Mohammed bin Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh and CEO Abdul Aziz Al-Suwailem expressed their gratitude and appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support.

They also wished success to the board members as the authority seeks to establish itself as a focal point for intellectual property in the MENA region by the time the Saudi Vision 2030 is wholly implemented.

Al-Sheikh is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Saudi Arabia’s representative to the World Bank in Washington. In 2013 he was appointed chairman of the Saudi Capital Market Authority and two years later named as a state minister.

Al-Suwailem, who has served as an adviser to the World Intellectual Property Organization and UNESCO, is experienced in IP rights at the local and international level. He is also a former vice president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology.

The main tasks of the SAIP include developing a national IP strategy, proposing and developing relevant regulations and laws, and registering, granting and protecting IP rights.

It also raises awareness of intellectual property, provides information to the public, represents Saudi Arabia at international and regional IP organizations, grants licenses for IP activities, and comments on relevant international agreements.

Recently, the SAIP signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korean Intellectual Property Office, in the presence of the Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the Saudi-Korean Investment Forum in Riyadh.

The agreement enhances the strategic partnership between South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and will involve the secondment of Korean IP experts to Riyadh.

SAIP spokesman Yasser Hakami told Arab News that the MoU laid out the framework, projects, timeline and procedures for the cooperative activities.


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

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses relations with Iraqi, Cypriot counterparts
Updated 25 min 8 sec ago

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.