Saudi Arabia registers 5,477 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Over 53.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. (File/SPA)
Over 53.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. (File/SPA)
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Updated 16 January 2022

Saudi Arabia registers 5,477 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Saudi Arabia registers 5,477 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death
  • Kingdom has started vaccinating all all children aged 5 to 11
  • Ministry of Interior records 32,532 violations against precautionary measures, as municipalities shut 51 businesses for COVID-19 breaches

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday confirmed 5,477 new COVID-19 infections in the previous 24 hours, meaning 615,430 people have now contracted the disease.
According to the Ministry of Health, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 1,472, followed by Jeddah with 985, Makkah with 425, Madinah confirmed 359, and Al-Hofuf recorded 189.
Of the total number of cases, 336 remain in critical condition.
The ministry confirmed one new coronavirus related death, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,906 since the pandemic began.
The health ministry also announced that 3,405 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 564,947.
Over 53.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. More than 23.4 million people have been fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the ministry said it has started giving the vaccine to all children aged 5 to 11, after previously only giving it to those considered in the high-risk category in that age group.
The Ministry of Interior reported 32,532 violations in the past week, with the highest number of breaches recorded in Riyadh with 9,722, followed by Madinah with 5,224, the Eastern Province with 3,719, and Makkah with 3,575. Najran region recorded the lowest number of violations with 541.


The ministry called on citizens and residents to abide by the preventive protocols and the instructions issued by authorities.
Saudi municipalities have also ramped up efforts to monitor compliance with health and safety measures.
The Eastern Province Municipality carried out 8,368 tours during the past week and field teams issued fines to 499 commercial outlets and closed eight others for breaching protocols.
Jeddah municipality carried out 5,996 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities in two days, and authorities identified 51 violations and closed 32 businesses.
Authorities in Al-Baha closed 11 commercial establishments and recorded 40 violations during 2,040 inspection tours.
Dr. Ali Al-Sawat, the mayor of Al-Baha, said that teams are continuing to intensify their field tours to monitor all facilities around the clock, adding that violating facilities will not be tolerated and maximum penalties will be applied, from issuing fines and penalties to closing businesses.
Officials have also called on the public to report any suspected health breaches by phoning the 940 call center number or contacting authorities through the Balady app.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 327 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 5.55 million.


Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia
Updated 18 May 2022

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia
  • The event will highlight the significance of the ancient sport and the Kingdom’s efforts to advance it through local and international forums

RIYADH: An international event to celebrate the history of purebred Arabian horses is set to get underway in Saudi Arabia.

Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of the Equestrian Authority and the Horse Racing Club, will on May 25 patronize the launch of the second edition of the five day Kahila championship meeting.

Organized by the King Abdulaziz center for purebred Arabian horses, the event will be staged at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Convention Center and will highlight the significance of the ancient sport and the Kingdom’s efforts to advance it through local and international forums.


73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls
Updated 18 May 2022

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls
  • The authorities thwarted attempts to smuggle 682 kilograms of hashish, 62.3 tons of khat and 194,300 amphetamine tablets

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 73 people after border patrols foiled massive drug smuggling attempts in several regions of the Kingdom.

Col. Misfir Al-Qarini, spokesman for the General Directorate of Border Guard, said that land patrols in the Jazan, Najran, Asir and Tabuk regions thwarted attempts to smuggle 682 kilograms of hashish, 62.3 tons of khat and 194,300 amphetamine tablets.

The seized drugs were handed over to authorities and legal steps taken against those detained, he added.

Among the alleged violators were 20 Saudi citizens, 26 Ethiopians, 23 Yemenis, two Pakistanis, one Sudanese and one Eritrean. 


Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight
Updated 18 May 2022

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight
  • The festival has 13 sections featuring 50 live performances and folkloric dances from across the Kingdom

 

JEDDAH: At this time every year the mountainous city of Taif is adorned with the hues of bright pink roses that produce some of the world’s most alluring perfumes and oils.

The Taif Rose Festival is the modern iteration of a tradition of cultivation and harvesting that has taken place in this region over the past nine centuries.

It was launched on May 6 at Al-Rudaf Park in the southern part of the city, and is open from 4 p.m. to 12 midnight.

The Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with Taif Municipality and under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, have organized the festival for two years in a row.

However, it has been running for the past 17 years, Arab News was told by Ahmad Al-Joaid, a tour guide from Taif who has been operating for 15 years in the field.

Al-Joaid said: “A number of new activities are added to the festival every year. Al-Rudaf Park is an area of over half-a-million square meters … a theater has also been created for the festival … Concerts (are) also a new addition.”

The ministry tweeted on its account @MoC_Engage: “Between the beauty of roses and the creativity of art, we welcome you to Taif roses festival.”

The festival has 13 sections featuring 50 live performances and folkloric dances from across the Kingdom in the park, and music shows by male and female artists.

The organizers have set up a workshop aimed at young people that provides information on how to become involved in the perfume-making industry.

There is also an exhibition titled “Claude Monet,” named after the French painter and founder of impressionism, who portrayed nature with such startling creativity. Several of Monet’s renditions are on display.

The festival also provides an opportunity for aspiring Saudi artists to display their paintings at “Cultural Street,” and drawings and other artwork at “Drawing Exhibit.” 

Many families have set up booths to sell byproducts of Taif’s produce such as rose water, perfumes, deodorants, soaps, body and skincare products, food and sweets.

The festival is also a great place for social media enthusiasts because it has several picturesque backdrops for photographs such as the Rose Dome, which contains a giant painting made of natural roses, the largest basket of the flowers in the city, and models and gates decorated with the produce.

Visitors can also view and listen to various rare birds.

Taif roses have historic, economic and religious importance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice annually with its scented water.

The region has more than 2,000 flower farms producing over 200 million roses every season.

Residents of Makkah and Jeddah visit Taif regularly in summer. “People can do plenty of things in Taif in addition to visiting the festival during their one-day visit …  (including) museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, strawberry farm, zoo, and historical castles,” the tour guide said.


Who’s Who: Majed Al-Sulami, humanitarian and development affairs chief at KSA’s UN mission in Geneva

Who’s Who: Majed Al-Sulami, humanitarian and development affairs chief at KSA’s UN mission in Geneva
Updated 56 min 31 sec ago

Who’s Who: Majed Al-Sulami, humanitarian and development affairs chief at KSA’s UN mission in Geneva

Who’s Who: Majed Al-Sulami, humanitarian and development affairs chief at KSA’s UN mission in Geneva

Majed Al-Sulami is a diplomat at the permanent mission of Saudi Arabia to the UN, where he is head of the humanitarian and development affairs department in Geneva.

His responsibilities are in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, International Organization for Migration, International Committee of the Red Cross, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Programme, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and humanitarian assistance in areas affected by conflicts, armed disputes and natural disasters.

Al-Sulami attained his bachelor’s degree in English literature from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. He also received a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy affairs from the University of Ghana, and another master’s degree in business administration for executives from Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK.

Al-Sulami also served as the chargé d’affaires at the Saudi Embassy in Ghana, and the deputy head and head of the consular section between September 2011 and 2013.

He was also the deputy head of the media section at the Saudi Embassy in London between September 2013 and 2017.

Al-Sulami also served as director of the specialized meetings at the permanent mission of Saudi Arabia to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation between September 2017 and 2020.

His participation included the 47th and 48th sessions of the OIC’s permanent finance committee, the 13th and 14th sessions of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission and the workshop held by the OIC’s commission with the UN.

Al-Sulami was a political committee member for preparatory meetings and foreign ministers’ meetings and the OIC conference held in Makkah in 2019.


Visitors to Kaaba Kiswa complex, Grand Mosque library can rate satisfaction using QR codes

Visitors to Kaaba Kiswa complex, Grand Mosque library can rate satisfaction using QR codes
Updated 18 May 2022

Visitors to Kaaba Kiswa complex, Grand Mosque library can rate satisfaction using QR codes

Visitors to Kaaba Kiswa complex, Grand Mosque library can rate satisfaction using QR codes
  • Visitors can rate their experiences in six languages
  • The satisfaction ratings will help improve visitors’ experiences

RIYADH: Visitors to institutions affiliated with the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques can now rate their satisfaction using QR code panels.

People visiting the King Abdulaziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa and the Grand Mosque’s library can simply scan the QR codes displayed to rate their visitor experience.

Panels with QR codes on them will enable visitors to rate their experiences. (@ReasahAlharmain)

The QR code panels at the complex and library will help rate visitor experiences in six languages through a special website supervised by an agency at the presidency measuring performance, quality, and institutional excellence.

The satisfaction ratings will help improve visitors’ experiences.