Saudi Arabia gives $133k to families of health workers who died of COVID-19

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (REUTERS file photo)
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Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (REUTERS file photo)
Health workers prepare to perform nose swab tests during a drive through coronavirus test campaign held in Diriyah hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File/AFP)
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Health workers prepare to perform nose swab tests during a drive through coronavirus test campaign held in Diriyah hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File/AFP)
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Updated 09 August 2021

Saudi Arabia gives $133k to families of health workers who died of COVID-19

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (REUTERS file photo)
  • The move applies to workers in the government and private health sector, whether Saudi or non-Saudi
  • Health Ministry spokesman slams ‘lies and fallacies’ over virus vaccines

JEDDAH: The Saudi government has begun distributing SR500,000 ($133,333) in financial assistance to families of healthcare workers who died of COVID-19.

The aid was to recognize the healthcare workers’ service and sacrifices during the pandemic, according to the health minister and chairman of the Saudi Health Council, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.
Grant beneficiaries include relatives of Saudi and expatriate workers, including civilian and military personnel in the public and private healthcare sectors.
The grant distribution came as Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly confirmed at a press conference on Sunday that the country’s epidemiological curve was witnessing a noticeable decline in the number of new cases, stressing that vaccines had played a major role in this development.
He slammed claims that children had died after being jabbed. “They are lies and fallacies that have nothing to do with reality,” he said.
The country is preparing for students to return to the classroom by the end of this month, with the Health Ministry and Education Ministry encouraging people to take the vaccine and not fall victim to rumors.
“Don’t be deceived,” said Al-Aly. “The vaccines are safe and effective, 99 percent of those in intensive care units due to COVID-19 are not vaccinated. Experts around the world classify the current stage of the pandemic as the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’”

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More than 29.9 million vaccines have been administered so far in Saudi Arabia.

The campaign to fully vaccinate students above the age of 12 and education staff continued apace, according to Education Ministry spokesperson Ibtisam Al-Shehri.
“The return to school is the most important factor to indicate a real return to normal life,” she told the press conference, saying that parents must ensure their children did not miss their vaccine appointments.
Fully vaccinated school students at the intermediate and secondary levels will be able to attend school from the start of the new academic year.
But primary students will continue their education online, as will those who are at intermediate level but younger than 12.
“These measures will continue until the end of October or until we achieve herd immunity by 70 percent, whichever comes first,” Al-Shehri added.
There are 3.1 million students at the intermediate and secondary levels in Saudi Arabia and 45 percent have received one dose, 19 percent have had both, and 6 percent have recovered from COVID-19.
Saudi Arabia reported 731 new cases on Sunday, raising the total number of infections to 533,516. Of the new cases, 151 were in Makkah, 132 were in the Eastern Province, and 129 were in Riyadh.
There have been an additional 620 patient recoveries, raising this total to 514,982, and a further 14 coronavirus-related deaths to take the death toll to 8,334. More than 29.9 million vaccines have been administered so far in Saudi Arabia, at a rate of 359,695 per day.


KSrelief and WHO sign $15m agreements to support Yemeni health sector

KSrelief and WHO sign $15m agreements to support Yemeni health sector
Updated 6 sec ago

KSrelief and WHO sign $15m agreements to support Yemeni health sector

KSrelief and WHO sign $15m agreements to support Yemeni health sector

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has inked deals worth $15 million with the World Health Organization to support Yemen’s health sector.
The agreements were signed Sunday by KSrelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and the WHO’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari.
The deals are being implemented as part of the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan.
Under the first agreement, the Yemeni health sector will be strengthened with basic and life-saving health equipment. This includes new laboratory tools, and medicines to treat infectious diseases, KSrelief said.
That agreement will benefit 1.27 million individuals in several Yemeni governorates, with a total value of $11.2 million.

The second agreement includes the provision of five oxygen stations and logistical means of transporting gas, training hospital workers, and station maintenance, with the aim of “increasing the readiness of health facilities (and) sustaining health services” in the governorates of Shabwa, Marib, Abyan and Hadramout.
It will benefit 41,738 people at a cost of $1 million.

The third agreement will support the logistics services linked to the COVID-19 vaccine for 10 percent of the Yemeni population, with the aim of increasing awareness about the vaccine and boosting uptake.
With a total value of $2.8 million, the final agreement is expected to support 886,341 people in all of Yemen’s governorates, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Al-Rabeeah praised the partnership between Saudi Arabia and the WHO, which he said aims to alleviate human suffering wherever it is.
He said KSrelief has carried out several initiatives with the UN body in the past few years for the benefit of Yemenis. These programs have had a great impact in addressing many diseases and pandemics, he said, the latest of which is COVID-19. He also praised the joint work on addressing the cholera epidemic in the country.
Al-Mandhari said the Kingdom, represented by KSrelief, has supported various UN programs around the world.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari added: “Through these agreements signed today, we have opened a new chapter for the partnership between us, and we hope for this partnership to continue and extend in Yemen, and the region and beyond.”


Saudi and US forces train in weapons of mass destruction crisis management

The Saudi Armed Forces and the US forces continue the Prevention Shield-3 exercise. (Saudi Ministry of Defense)
The Saudi Armed Forces and the US forces continue the Prevention Shield-3 exercise. (Saudi Ministry of Defense)
Updated 24 January 2022

Saudi and US forces train in weapons of mass destruction crisis management

The Saudi Armed Forces and the US forces continue the Prevention Shield-3 exercise. (Saudi Ministry of Defense)
  • Royal Saudi Naval Forces launched a mixed bilateral naval exercise with their Egyptian counterparts

RIYADH: The Saudi Armed Forces continued a joint exercise with US forces to train and plan for the management of crises resulting from weapons of mass destruction, the Kingdom’s defense ministry said on Sunday.
Several government agencies also participated in the “Prevention Shield-3” exercise, which began several days ago.
Col. Bader bin Saad Al-Theban, the spokesman for the exercise, said that the first phase of the drill was successfully carried out under the supervision of the general supervisor of the exercise, Maj. Gen. Khalid bin Saeed Abu Qais. 
He said several seminars, workshops and lectures were held on protection from weapons of mass destruction, and commanders and staff were trained in planning to manage crises.
Al-Theban added that the second phase of the exercise started on Sunday and a number of tasks and practical hypotheses have been implemented, such as warning, disinfection, reconnaissance, exposure to a ballistic missile attack loaded with a chemical agent, pollution of surrounding areas and casualties, which requires rapid intervention.
He thanked all the participants in the exercise from the US forces, branches of the Saudi armed forces, the Ministry of Health, Civil Defense and the Saudi Red Crescent for their efforts to make the exercise a success.
Meanwhile, the Royal Saudi Naval Forces launched a mixed bilateral naval exercise with their Egyptian counterparts at King Faisal Naval Base in the Western Fleet.
Rear Admiral Yahya bin Mohammed Al-Asiri, the commander of the Western Fleet, said that the “Morjan 17” exercise aims to strengthen relations and joint cooperation, and raise the level of combat readiness and preparedness between both countries’ naval forces.
It also aims to unify operational concepts between the two sides to confront regional threats, and exchange expertise in methods and ways of implementing naval missions. It also contributes to developing unit crews in naval wars and special forces missions to protect the maritime safety, regional and international waterways and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, he added.
The exercise is an extension of a series of previous joint exercises between the two countries, and includes many maneuvers that enhance maritime security measures in the region.


International e-learning conference starts in Riyadh

International e-learning Center in Riyadh. (SPA)
International e-learning Center in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 24 January 2022

International e-learning conference starts in Riyadh

International e-learning Center in Riyadh. (SPA)
  • The minister said the conference contributed to achieving national objectives in human capability development in view of the support provided by the Saudi leadership to the e-learning and training sector

RIYADH: International experts are taking part in a four-day conference in Riyadh to discuss the future of e-learning and e-training in Saudi Arabia.

The event, which started on Monday and is called eLearning for Human Capability Development, has been organized by the National eLearning Center under the patronage of its CEO and Education Minister Hamad Al-Asheikh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It will review the latest developments and opportunities in the field, and discuss ways to develop Saudis’ skills to enable them to compete in the global labor market.

Al-Asheikh said the conference represented a valuable opportunity to share knowledge and ideas and learn about best experiences and practices, and it was also in line with the rapid developments and evolving needs of the labor market.

The minister said the conference contributed to achieving national objectives in human capability development in view of the support provided by the Saudi leadership to the e-learning and training sector, contributing to empower national capabilities to compete locally and globally.

Delegates will review the experiences of bodies and blocs like the EU, UNESCO and the International Labour Organization, as well as those of individual countries such as India.

The event will look at how platforms like edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn can help to boost people’s skills, and discuss ways to use e-learning to harmonize educational output with the needs of the labor market.

It will have workshops presented by experts and practitioners in various disciplines from around the world.

The National eLearning Center said the conference aimed to review global experiences and expertise related to innovation in employing e-learning and training to develop human capability worldwide.

The conference will discuss the most important challenges to human capability development and e-learning and training opportunities, and ways to overcome them.

The center said the conference had four key themes: E-learning as an enabler and accelerator for human capability development, skill enhancement, learning platforms, and micro-credentials, all of which will be addressed in discussion sessions with the participation of over 20 speakers.

 


Residents injured in Houthi ballistic missile attack on Saudi industrial area

Residents injured in Houthi ballistic missile attack on Saudi industrial area
Updated 24 January 2022

Residents injured in Houthi ballistic missile attack on Saudi industrial area

Residents injured in Houthi ballistic missile attack on Saudi industrial area
  • Coalition said this was third Houthi attempt to target civilians of different nationalities in the industrial area
  • The “vicious and brutal attack” would be dealt with firmly, the coalition added

RIYADH: Two residents sustained minor injuries after the Houthis fired a ballistic missile that fell in the industrial area of Ahad Al-Masarihah, Jazan, the coalition said on Sunday.

The residents, of Sudanese and Bangladeshi origin, were wounded and workshops and civilian vehicles were damaged in the “vicious and brutal attack” that would be dealt with firmly, the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen said.

This was the third Houthi attempt to target civilians of different nationalities in the industrial area situated in the Kingdom’s south western region, the coalition said.

The coalition also said it had intercepted and destroyed two drones that were launched from Yemen’s Al-Jouf governorate.

Meanwhile, Yemen's defense ministry said it had received “shocking” information about the Houthi militia executing its fighters who had withdrawn from combat and refused to fight.

“We have given directions to our units to receive the retreating Houthi fighters,” the ministry said.

It promised safety and good treatment to withdrawing Houthi fighters “in accordance with international legitimacy, norms, and laws.”

“Those who have withdrawn are guests whom we will receive, and we will provide them with all help, support, and assistance to return to their areas when they wish,” the ministry said.


Niger hands over OIC presidency to Pakistan

Held at the OIC’s headquarters in Jeddah, the inaugural session saw the handover of the chair from Niger to Pakistan. (Supplied)
Held at the OIC’s headquarters in Jeddah, the inaugural session saw the handover of the chair from Niger to Pakistan. (Supplied)
Updated 24 January 2022

Niger hands over OIC presidency to Pakistan

Held at the OIC’s headquarters in Jeddah, the inaugural session saw the handover of the chair from Niger to Pakistan. (Supplied)
  • Taha underlined the need to overcome the challenges faced by member states to ensure peace, stability, and development and to achieve the aspirations of their people

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Sunday held a preparatory meeting for the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which is due to take place in Islamabad in March.
Held at the OIC’s headquarters in Jeddah, the inaugural session saw the handover of the chair from Niger to Pakistan.
OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha reviewed major developments that had taken place in some member states and also the meeting’s main agenda items.
He addressed the situation in Palestine, Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Mali, the Sahel Region and Lake Chad Basin, and other African countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Muslim communities and minorities in nonmember states.
Taha underlined the need to overcome the challenges faced by member states to ensure peace, stability, and development and to achieve the aspirations of their people.
He also stressed the need to strengthen OIC capacities in the areas of peace, preventive diplomacy and mediation, counterterrorism and combating Islamophobia, along with response efforts to COVID-19 challenges.