Saudi health expert, speaking at Health20 Summit, calls for global action over COVID-19 pandemic

Dr. Abdulelah Al-Hawsawi (top right), says action and less of oration is what the world needs right now in tackling the COVID-19 fallout. (Health20 via Twitter)
Dr. Abdulelah Al-Hawsawi (top right), says action and less of oration is what the world needs right now in tackling the COVID-19 fallout. (Health20 via Twitter)
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Updated 03 September 2021

Saudi health expert, speaking at Health20 Summit, calls for global action over COVID-19 pandemic

Saudi health expert, speaking at Health20 Summit, calls for global action over COVID-19 pandemic
  • ‘World will fail to deal with another pandemic if countries, companies, and relevant bodies are unable to work together’

JEDDAH: A Saudi health expert on Thursday called for urgent international action to tackle the global fallout from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Dr. Abdulelah Al-Hawsawi, vice president of the Global Sepsis Alliance, spoke as the virtual two-day annual Health20 Summit drew to a close with delegates appealing for the immediate implementation of investment, partnership, and innovation initiatives in health technology.

He said: “Implementation beats oration. We have to act swiftly; we have to act now. I think we have to have the collective wisdom of planet Earth.

“When you think about G20 or G7, it is still pretty much left to the government representatives. I think there is a lot of intelligence and a lot of wisdom in nonstate actors that we should listen to.”

And he highlighted crowdsourcing as one possible way of gathering information, opinions, and expertise from around the world.

Mark Feinberg, the chief executive officer of IAVI, a nonprofit scientific research organization that develops vaccines and antibodies, warned that the world would fail to deal with another pandemic if countries, companies, and relevant bodies were unable to work together.

We have to act swiftly; we have to act now. I think we have to have the collective wisdom of planet Earth.

Dr. Abdulelah Al-Hawsawi, vice president of the Global Sepsis Alliance

Commonwealth secretary-general, Patricia Scotland, pointed out that the global health crisis was far from over.

“While we are all in the same storm, we are not in the same boat. Until we are all safe, no one is safe,” she said.

The baroness added that the Commonwealth did not have the resources of the state, but the nations of the G20 did. “We are working with the G20 and UN to help everyone.”

Greg Perry, assistant director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, noted that 300 partnerships had been created since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic but said structures needed to be established to enable more public and private sector partnerships and investment projects to take place.

Dr. Hayat Sindi, senior adviser to the president of the Islamic Development Bank, said the bank had set up a blockchain platform enabling $2.3 billion to be allocated to more than 30 member countries to cover urgent needs during the COVID-19 outbreak while also helping small and medium-sized enterprises, and trade.

The IsDB is a multilateral development bank that promotes comprehensive development among its 57 member states and Muslim communities in nonmember states.

Dr. Peter Singer, special adviser to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, said: “Equity. Equity. Equity. The only way to solve the economic crisis is to solve the health crisis.”

Addressing the summit, Andreano Erwin, the Indonesian Health Ministry’s director of international cooperation, said healthy people and healthy economies were inextricably linked.

He added that tackling diseases was not a cost but an investment and noted that investments needed to be quantitatively measured alongside national objectives.

And Jamie Bay Nishi, director of the Global Health Technologies Coalition, also called for more investment to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and any future pandemics. “Those investments will be a drop in the bucket and worth it for future crises.”


Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southwest Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southwest Saudi Arabia
Updated 42 min 29 sec ago

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southwest Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southwest Saudi Arabia
  • Houthi militia’s escalation in attacks is deliberate attempt to target civilians: Coalition

RIYADH: The Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed a booby-trapped Houthi drone launched toward Saudi Arabia’s southwestern city of Abha on Friday.

The militia’s escalation in attacks is a deliberate attempt to target civilians, the coalition said. 

On Thursday, the Iran-backed militia launched five armed drones toward Saudi Arabia as people celebrated the Kingdom’s 91st national day. All the drones were intercepted. 

On Wednesday, the Houthis launched three drones toward the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait, all of which were shot down.


Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 24 September 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 535,842
  • A total of 8,688 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced four deaths from COVID-19 and 51 new infections on Friday.

Of the new cases, 14 were recorded in Riyadh, 12 in Makkah, five in the Eastern Province, four in Madinah, three in Jazan, three in Najran, two in Asir, two in Tabuk, one in Hail, one in Al-Jouf and one in the Northern Borders region.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 535,842 after 59 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,688 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 41.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi foreign minister meets US Special Envoy for Iran

Saudi foreign minister meets US Special Envoy for Iran
Updated 24 September 2021

Saudi foreign minister meets US Special Envoy for Iran

Saudi foreign minister meets US Special Envoy for Iran

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan met on Friday with the US Special Envoy for Iran Affairs Robert Malley, state news agency SPA reported.
The two officials met on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly in New York.
During the meeting, they discussed enhancing joint action, and developments towards the nuclear program.
Iran has been urged to return rapidly to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiations in Vienna to reduce tensions over Tehran’s nuclear programme.


Coalition forces thwart Houthi attempts to disrupt Saudi National Day celebrations with drone attacks

Coalition forces thwart Houthi attempts to disrupt Saudi National Day celebrations with drone attacks
Updated 24 September 2021

Coalition forces thwart Houthi attempts to disrupt Saudi National Day celebrations with drone attacks

Coalition forces thwart Houthi attempts to disrupt Saudi National Day celebrations with drone attacks

RIYADH: Iran-backed Houthi terrorists launched five armed drones toward Saudi Arabia late on Thursday as the Kingdom celebrated its 91st national day, state media Al-Ekhbariya TV and the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The weaponized drones, which came in waves, were intercepted and destroyed by coalition air defenses before they could do any harm, the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government was quoted by state media as saying.

"The Joint Forces Command affirmed that all necessary operational measures are taken to protect the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its citizens and residents in order to neutralize and destroy these hostile cross-border attacks," the SPA report said.

In a tweet, Al-Ekhbariyah TV said the 4th and 5th drones came just before midnight as Saudi National Day celebrations continued.

On Wednesday, Houthi terrorists launched three drones toward the southwestern Saudi city of Khamis Mushayt, all of which were shot down. On Monday, Coalition forces destroyed two bomb-laden boats that the Houthis were planning to use in Yemen's northwestern port city of Hodeidah.

Critics say the Houthis have been emboldened with the lifting by the US government of their designation as a global terrorist organization.

Washington removed the designation last February in a policy shift by the Biden administration, in hopes of getting the Houthis back to the negotiation table.

The Houthis, however, have refused to respond positively to UN-brokered peace talks.


International community condemns latest Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

International community condemns latest Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia
Updated 24 September 2021

International community condemns latest Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

International community condemns latest Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia
  • Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen praised the efficiency of Coalition air defenses in intercepting Houthi missiles and drones

RIYADH: The UAE, Bahrain, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Thursday joined a chorus of international condemnation of a failed ballistic missile attack by the Iran-backed Houthis on civilians in Saudi Arabia.

OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen praised the efficiency of Saudi-led coalition air defenses in intercepting and destroying the missile before it reached Jazan in the southwest of the Kingdom.

He renewed his call for the international community to take decisive action to stop the ongoing threats from ballistic missile and bomb-laden drone attacks by Houthis operating from Yemen.

Al-Othaimeen pointed out that the OIC considered the militia group’s actions to be war crimes and a challenge to international humanitarian law.

Coalition forces supporting Yemen’s legitimate government on Wednesday thwarted another wave of Houthi drone attacks targeting Saudi Arabia that came two days after an attempted boat-bomb strike was foiled in Hodeidah.

The UAE and Bahrain condemned the latest attacks and gave their full backing to measures taken by Saudi Arabia to protect its security, stability, and the safety of its citizens.

In a statement, the coalition said Saudi air defenses on Wednesday intercepted and destroyed three explosive-laden drones launched by the Houthis toward the southern city of Khamis Mushayt. One drone had been launched in the morning, and the other two later in the day.