Second dose of vaccines open to all eligible people in Saudi Arabia

Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. (SPA)
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Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. (SPA)
Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
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Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
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Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
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Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
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Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
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Students aged 12 and above get themselves vaccinated at Jazan University. (SPA)
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Updated 12 July 2021

Second dose of vaccines open to all eligible people in Saudi Arabia

Second dose of vaccines open to all eligible people in Saudi Arabia
  • Ministry urges people to take precautions during Eid Al-Adha amid rise in cases

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is well on its way to herd immunity as members of the community continue to adhere to measures and register for vaccines.

After announcing the status of COVID-19 cases globally, Ministry of Health spokesperson, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, warned of a spike in numbers during the Eid Al-Adha holidays and warned of a previous rise in cases due to lack of adherence to social distancing measures.

“There should be no repeats of this disdain from anyone, it is not yet time for us to relax. We will reach positive results by being strict with preventative measures,” Al-Abd Al-Aly said. He expressed his hope of seeing a downward curve in the number of cases in the near future if people were vaccinated and continued to practice preventative measures against COVID-19.

With more than 19.7 million vaccines being administered in the Kingdom, the spokesman announced that the second dose of vaccines was open to all ages for those eligible to receive them. “There had to be a certain period of time between the first and second doses, regardless of age. I am expecting a record number of people to receive their second doses.”

INNUMBERS

501,195 Total cases

482,414 Recoveries

10,805 Active cases

7,976 Total deaths

It was also stated that those who have not been vaccinated were at a much greater risk of contracting the virus as well as having harsher symptoms compared to those who have been vaccinated, whether it was one or two doses. “Those who have been vaccinated won’t experience symptoms of the virus, or if they do they will be mild and they will have an easier time breathing.”

Al-Abd Al-Aly added that it was important to note that the elderly or those whose immune systems were compromised might experience harsher symptoms, however they would have a greater chance of being protected by being vaccinated.

He answered the most frequently asked questions on quarantine. He explained that quarantine and isolation were mandatory for those who had mixed with others who were infected, especially if they have been in close proximity of less than 2 meters for 15 minutes or longer with neither party wearing masks.

Al-Abd Al-Aly said that quarantine became mandatory the moment a positive PCR test result was confirmed and ended after 10 days. “Within the last three days of those ten days there must be no symptoms for the quarantine period to completely end.” He also stressed the importance of people following the ten-day rule.

“Some don’t wait for the ten days to end if they don’t have any symptoms and socialize with others. This is incorrect, symptoms can be delayed by five days. Following quarantine regulations is a vital command that must be followed. Breaking the rules and socializing before it is confirmed the person is no longer infected is very dangerous for others’ lives and health,” he said.

On the new and approved vaccine Moderna, Al-Abd Al-Aly said that it had passed many tests and trials made mandatory by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. “It is a safe and well-functioning vaccine. The vaccine is now being administered after receiving its approval.”

The MOH has announced that there are 1,112 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number to 501,195. The region with the highest case count is Makkah with 260, followed by the Eastern province at 209, then Asir with 196 and Riyadh at 193. The region with the lowest case count is Al-Jouf with three.

For the currently active cases there are 10,805 — of these cases 1,418 are in critical condition. There have been 1,189 recoveries, bringing the number of those recovered to 482,414.

There have been 13 COVID-19 related mortalities within the past 24 hours and 96,616 PCR tests were administered.


Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs
Updated 25 September 2021

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

DHAHRAN: In celebration of the 91st Saudi National Day, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture has launched programs and activities to highlight diversity across the Kingdom.

Ithra will engage visitors through a cultural journey that embodies the unity of the Saudi people and their interdependence, from north to south and from east to west, through the Tafaseel exhibition.

The exhibition will express the diversity of fashion as part of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage across regions, as well as telling stories about the civilizations that inhabited them.

The national day activities aim to present a collection of interactive art, performances, traditional local crafts, cultural activities, workshops, and knowledge-based games for all age groups.

The activities continue until Saturday.

 


Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees
Updated 25 September 2021

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

MAKKAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques announced on Friday that it has so far trained around 600 female employees of its agencies or assisting agencies.

The Women’s Development Affairs Agency, led by Al-Anoud Al-Aboud, deputy president for women’s development affairs, employs 310 of those women.

Around 200 women work for the Agency for Women’s Scientific, Intellectual and Guidance Affairs, led by Noura Al-Thuwaibi.

The rest of the trained women work at the Agency for Women’s Administrative and Service Affairs, under the leadership of Kamelia Al-Daadi, the general presidency said in a statement.

 

 


Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day
Updated 25 September 2021

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia joined the international community by participating in World Sign Day, celebrated on Sept. 23.

The Ministry of Health implemented the “We Are with You” initiative to support deaf people, raising staff awareness about the deaf community. The MOH trained its staff to work with individuals who are deaf, teaching them sign language rules and basics, and helping them find ways to support deaf patients overcome challenges.

Sign language includes 35 manual symbols, each representing a letter of the alphabet, and five other symbols representing diacritics.

The Arabic language also includes numbers in its sign language system; Arabic sign language includes 53 manual symbols representing number, in single or multiple digits.

The MOH also launched the Awlawiya (Priority) Card, one of the Patient Experience Center’s initiatives to facilitate and accelerate procedures and services provided to some groups (including the deaf) inside health facilities.

 

 

Other electronic services include the Queries on Treatment Abroad Orders Service and the Mawid (Appointment) Service.

Moreover, it launched the Online Registration initiative for people with disabilities, including the deaf, through its E-Health system. The platform enables MOH officials to follow up on registration and classification electronically, as well as oversee the issuance of Transportation Discount Cards and Traffic Facilitation Cards.

The MOH linked the E-Health platform with other authorities, such as the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and the Ministry of Education, by automating all procedures to ensure speed and uniformity of service provision. Furthermore, the ministry launched the Eshara app, which provides direct services to the deaf and hearing-impaired, and which allows them to benefit from the services offered by the 937 Service Center.

The app allows visual communication between deaf people and the remote sign interpretation communication center; the interpreter translates the signs as a third party through the digital platform by converting the sign language to spoken Arabic (and vice versa), serving as a mediator between the employee and the deaf person.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a series of training programs about sign language basics in its branches in the Kingdom, trained its members and employees in all sectors to understand sign language, and raised their awareness on how to communicate with deaf people to ensure access of all services with ease.

Decoder

'We Are with You' campaign

It is the Saudi Ministry of Health initiative to support deaf people, raising staff awareness about the deaf community, teaching them sign language rules and basics, and helping them find ways to support deaf patients overcome challenges.


ThePlace: Dawqara, in KSA’s Northern Borders region, yield signs of early civilization

ThePlace: Dawqara, in KSA’s Northern Borders region, yield signs of early civilization
Updated 25 September 2021

ThePlace: Dawqara, in KSA’s Northern Borders region, yield signs of early civilization

ThePlace: Dawqara, in KSA’s Northern Borders region, yield signs of early civilization

ThePlace: Dawqara,  in KSA's Northern Borders region, shows signs of civilization during late late Roman period 

Dawqara is located 40 kilometers west of At-Turaif, near a mountain known as Aqrun or Dawqara. The site is registered in a comprehensive archeological survey program.

Rainwater accumulates on the northern side of the site and forms a large lake. The southern side is made up of volcanic rocks with many stone circles. Some stone tools have also been found.

One of the site’s most important artifacts is a square palace that was built from large volcanic stones. Its construction takes into consideration the straightness and solidity of pillars, linked by clay.

The palace’s door is located in the middle of the eastern wall and is 2.85 meters long. The palace comprises two parts. The first is a yard that constitutes the largest part of the building. The second has seven rooms on the western wall, each 4.5 meters wide.

The history of the palace is not clear, as an archeological excavation is required to extract, study and compare artifacts. 

But, according to preliminary studies, the palace was built in the pre-Islamic era and there is other evidence indicating that it was used until the Umayyad era. 


Pakistani spends four decades in service of Makkah’s Grand Mosque

Pakistani spends four decades in service of Makkah’s Grand Mosque
Updated 25 September 2021

Pakistani spends four decades in service of Makkah’s Grand Mosque

Pakistani spends four decades in service of Makkah’s Grand Mosque
  • The Pakistani worker witnessed the restoration of the Kaaba during the reign of the late King Fahd and said it was one of the most important and beautiful stages of his life
  • 61-year-old Qandal is a supervisor for sanitation work at the Grand Mosque

MAKKAH: Ahmed Khan Qandal, who came from Mandi Bahauddin in Pakistan in late 1983 at the age of 23, never thought that he would spend the next 40 years of his life in Saudi Arabia, specifically as a sanitation worker at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
Qandal initially promised his parents he would return home as soon as possible. But Makkah and the service of the Grand Mosque kept him preoccupied as his parents have since passed on.
The years flew by and today the 61-year-old Qandal is a supervisor for sanitation work at the Grand Mosque.
His memory is made up of different Saudi events, the most important of which were the Grand Mosque’s second and third Saudi expansions projects, and the Kaaba restoration project.
“Since I came to Saudi Arabia almost 40 years ago, I felt that I was among family and I never felt alienated,” Qandal told Arab News. 
“Whenever I meet someone new, they tell me how lucky I am
to be able to serve the Grand Mosque and pray there. I was always near the Holy Kaaba and this is a great honor that only a person with a special relationship with God can have. I was blessed to be able to do this work for four decades.”
He noted that he came to Saudi Arabia during the reign of the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz. 

“I worked in cleaning the outer courtyards, and approximately four years later, the second Saudi expansion of the Grand Mosque happened,” Qandal said. “I was a witness to how Muslims began to perform their rituals more comfortably.”
The Pakistani worker witnessed the restoration of the Kaaba during the reign of the late King Fahd and said it was one of the most important and beautiful stages of his life.
Qandal believes God chose him to witness many significant events, including the third Saudi expansion during the reign of the late King Abdullah.
Aside from his time at the Grand Mosque, Qandal also worked with a cleaning company for 11 years until he moved to the Saudi Binladin Group. Over the years, he became known for his efficiency and hard work.
Working with warm, welcoming people from all over the world is what has stuck out the most for Qandal during his time at the Grand Mosque.
“We were all loving brothers,” he said. “All the workers in the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosques and the Prophet’s Mosque operate as a united team to show the Two Holy Mosques in the best way possible.”
Qandal has two sons and a daughter. One of his sons works in the electrical department at the Grand Mosque and the other is with his sister in Pakistan.
He stressed that his wish is to be buried in Makkah, the city he lives in, pointing out that whoever lives in the service of the Two Holy Mosques cannot in any way feel bored or lonely.
“Happiness, love, harmony, tolerance, mercy, and peace can be found in all corners of the Grand Mosque,” Qandal said. “Where Muslims coming from all over the world come to praise God.”