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, UNICEF sign agreement to provide basic health services for mothers and children in Yemen

KSrelief, UNICEF sign agreement to provide basic health services for mothers and children in Yemen
Updated 27 January 2022

KSrelief, UNICEF sign agreement to provide basic health services for mothers and children in Yemen

KSrelief, UNICEF sign agreement to provide basic health services for mothers and children in Yemen

RIYADH: The Saudi-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center signed a cooperation agreement with UNICEF to provide basic health services for mothers and newborns, according to the humanitarian response plan for Yemen, with a value of $10 million.
KSrelief supervisor general Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore signed the agreement, Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
The agreement stipulates providing free basic health services for obstetrics and gynaecology emergency and care services, increasing the preparedness of the Yemeni health sector with medical equipment for newborns, localizing the sustainability of providing health services for mothers and children, and training 156 midwives for emergency cases to obstetric care and emergency care for newborns. The agreement is expected to benefit 43,533 individuals in several Yemeni governorates.
It is part of the humanitarian and aid projects implemented by Saudi Arabia, through KSrelief, in partnership with UNICEF to develop the Yemeni health sector and increase care services offered to children and mothers in all Yemeni governorates.


DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 73rd Republic Day

DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 73rd Republic Day
Updated 27 January 2022

DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 73rd Republic Day

DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 73rd Republic Day

RIYADH: The Embassy of India in Riyadh celebrated the 73rd Republic Day with great fervor to honor the historic date of Jan. 26, 1950, when India’s constitution came into effect and the country became a republic.

The celebration began in the morning with a flag-hoisting ceremony on the embassy premises, where Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed unfurled the national flag of India.

Sayeed extended greetings to all the attendees at the function and to all Indians residing in Saudi Arabia.

“On this joyous occasion of the 73rd Republic Day of India, I would like to extend my warm greetings and felicitations to all Indian nationals, persons of Indian origin, and friends of India in the Kingdom,” envoy tweeted.

He also talked of the growing ties of India and Saudi Arabia. He said that since independence, India’s relationship with the Kingdom has evolved into a multifaceted and mutually beneficial strategic partnership encompassing several key areas, including defense and security cooperation, investment, healthcare, technology, energy and food security.

The envoy also read out the message of the President of India, Ramnath Kovind, on the occasion, which read: “My heartiest greetings to all of you, in India and abroad, on the 73rd Republic Day! It is an occasion to celebrate what is common to us all, our Indian-ness. It was on this day in 1950 that this sacred essence of us all assumed a formal shape. That day, India was established as the largest democratic republic and ‘we the people’ put into effect a constitution that is an inspired document of our collective vision. It is this spirit of unity and of being one nation which is celebrated every year as Republic Day.”

This was followed by cultural performances given by the students of Indian schools in Riyadh.

The event was attended by members of the Indian community based in the Kingdom.

The celebration holds greater significance for Indians across the world as India is celebrating its 75th year of independence. India gained its independence on Aug. 15, 1947. This celebration also coincides with 75 years of diplomatic relations between India and Saudi Arabia.


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 27 January 2022

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

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

RIYADH: 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 Abdulaziz 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 Abdulaziz 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.

HIGHLIGHT

The main tasks of 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.

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 Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

The main tasks of 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, 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.


King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity
Updated 27 January 2022

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity
  • Campaign aims to boost awareness, outreach ahead of Vision 2030 goal

RIYADH: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve, the largest reserve in the Middle East and North Africa, unveiled its digital identity on its website and Twitter account to foster awareness and boost its outreach.

The campaign showcased the vision, mission and goals of the reserve, along with more than 235 plant species, such as tamarisk, calligonum and common poppy.

Besides historical treasures dating back more than 12,000 years from the ancient period to the Islamic age, the sites of Jubbah and Kalwa within KSRNR are full of old stories and legends, which the KSRNR hopes to preserve.

The reserve is characterized by its enormous size, and serves as a resting site for migrating birds.

The new digital campaign pointed to the future vision for KSRNR, as well as its ecotourism and recreational goals in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

Spelling out the plans, a senior official at the reserve said that the KSRNR “seeks to reintroduce species, resettle wildlife, restore natural wealth, increase vegetation cover, maintain cultural heritage and provide job opportunities for the local community.”

As part of the digital reveal, Abdullah bin Qadhan, director of partnerships and external communication at KSRNR, discussed the reserve’s strategic objectives and its latest initiative to develop vegetation cover.

HIGHLIGHT

Established in 2018, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve is spread across 130,700 square kilometers of land, stretching toward the Northern Borders region. It incorporates three existing natural reserves: Harrat Al-Harrah Conservation, Al-Tubaiq Natural Reserve and Al-Khanfah Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Qadhan shared details of the ‘We Spread It for a Green Tomorrow’ campaign in the Tabuk region, in which drones were used,” the reserve tweeted.

“There is an activation of the career opportunities in the region by employing young Saudi cadres, and we are working with universities to qualify final year students. There are training programs that end with employment for them,” Qadhan said.

“We signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Investment to develop feasibility studies for attractions and market them to local and international investors,” he added.

“Our goal is to be a distinguished tourist destination in the Arabian Peninsula, and we seek to enable the private sector to invest in the natural reserve.”

KSRNR was established in 2018 as a result of a royal decree to create a Council of Royal Reserves, which is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The reserve is spread across 130,700 square kilometers of land, stretching toward the Northern Borders region. It incorporates three existing natural reserves: Harrat Al-Harrah Conservation, Al-Tubaiq Natural Reserve and Al-Khanfah Wildlife Sanctuary.


AlUla locals look to trees for growing income

AlUla locals look to trees for growing income
Updated 27 January 2022

AlUla locals look to trees for growing income

AlUla locals look to trees for growing income

RIYADH: Beyond the beautiful landscapes and rich cultural heritage, AlUla is also home to many beautiful plants and trees.

The Moringa peregrina tree, found abundantly in the region, has recently come under the spotlight due to its economic opportunities.

For centuries, the Moringa peregrina has been prized for its medicinal properties and health benefits. 

AlUla locals are now working to spread those properties to tourists from around the world, and bringing in some great business for the region.

Arab News visited Ghosain AlBan, one of the stores in AlUla’s old town that specializes in selling Moringa oil products. 

“Our ancestors used Moringa oil for cooking as it is good for health. It has many cosmetic and health benefits because it is a cholesterol-free vegetable oil rich in amino acids, rich in calcium, iron, zinc, with vitamin A, B and C, and omega 3, 6 and 9,” said Azah Aljhani, the store’s owner. 

The Aljhani family bought a farm and planted about 2,000 Moringa trees to extract oil, pick the leaves for tea and make powders that add flavor to plenty of meals. 

“My family and I took the course supported by the AlUla Peregrina Center on how to plant the tree and how to sort it and preserve it, and we were trained by experts from France,” she said. 

Aljhani then came up with the idea of making body products. In 2019, she joined a course that the Royal Commission of AlUla was offering for the locals, where they learned how to extract oil and make byproducts that would be ready to go on shelves. 

“I made my first soap from Moringa oil and sold it in the Winter of Tantora seasons festivals of 2018 and 2019, and it impressed the visitors and tourists,” Aljhani said. 

“We started a workshop for two weeks where we made about 5,000 soaps,” she added. 

With her husband joining her business, Aljhani then started selling all kinds of Moringa products such as face oils, creams and scrubs. She opened her first store in the city in 2020, and in four months she received support from the Royal Commission of AlUla to open a branch in AlUla old town — a perfect location for tourists and visitors. 

“The store gets a lot of attention from tourists and once they try our products they love it. One of my products is also considered a natural moisturizer and when they try it they always come back or order online,” Aljhani said. 

Aljhani thanked the Royal Commission of AlUla for its support for local businesses. 

“Every step we took to make this business happen, the Royal Commission of AlUla was behind it, they have zero benefits from the store and they are enriching AlUla with local business and this by itself is an amazing step towards increasing the local production in the region and create jobs for locals,” AlJhani said. 

The Peregrina Center in AlUla, created by the royal commission, supports the production of Pergerina oil, and provides workshops for locals to benefit from the oil’s many uses.