Saudi Arabia registers 4,535 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

Over 54.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. (File/SPA)
Over 54.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. (File/SPA)
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Updated 23 January 2022

Saudi Arabia registers 4,535 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

Saudi Arabia registers 4,535 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths
  • Ministry of Interior records 28,657 violations against precautionary measures
  • Municipalities close several businesses and issue fines to a number of others for breaching coronavirus protocols

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday confirmed 4,535 new COVID-19 infections in the previous 24 hours, meaning 652,354 people have now contracted the disease.
According to the Ministry of Health, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 1,408, followed by Jeddah with 566, Makkah with 199, Abha confirmed 166, and Madinah recorded 157.
Of the total number of cases, 655 remain in critical condition.
The ministry confirmed two new coronavirus related deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,920 since the pandemic began.
The health ministry also announced that 5,072 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 599,834.
Over 54.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. More than 23.5 million people have been fully vaccinated.


The Ministry of Interior reported 28,657 violations in the past week, with the highest number of breaches recorded in Riyadh with 7,979, followed by Madinah with 4,443, the Eastern Province with 3,582, and Makkah with 2,788. Najran region recorded the lowest number of violations with 537.
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 7,459 tours during the past week and field teams issued fines to 524 commercial outlets and closed 10 others for breaching protocols.
Jeddah municipality carried out 8,220 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities in two days, and authorities identified 72 violations and closed 32 businesses.
Authorities from the Northern Borders Province, represented by Rafha Municipality, recorded 29 violations last week and closed nine facilities.
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 350 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 5.61 million.


Who’s Who: Turki Al-Thonayan, CEO of the National Security Services Co.

Turki Al-Thonayan
Turki Al-Thonayan
Updated 7 min 48 sec ago

Who’s Who: Turki Al-Thonayan, CEO of the National Security Services Co.

Turki Al-Thonayan

Turki Matooq Al-Thonayan was appointed CEO of the National Security Services Co., or SAFE, which is owned by the Public Investment Fund.

Al-Thonayan has more than 25 years of extensive security experience, starting in 1996 with Saudi Aramco, where he eventually became manager of its northern area industrial security operations in 2018.

He later worked at BATIC, overseeing investment and logistics, held the position of CEO at AMNCO, and was appointed to the board of directors of AMNCO Facilities Management.

Prior to AMNCO, Al-Thonayan also served as a part-time board member of Smart Cities Solutions Co.

Al-Thonayan began his extensive career as a part-time lecturer at the Arab Open University. He then ventured to Saudi Aramco where he climbed the executive ladder, starting as a system analyst for the computer security administration.

He then dedicated over 16 years to the company to reach the position of offshore security operations superintendent.

Al-Thonayan’s security experience is diversified across corporate security services, computer security administration, residential area security operations, industrial and maritime infrastructure facilities protection, and security support system and identification systems.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in information and computer science, and later a master’s in the same field, both from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. He has been certified as a port security officer, information systems risk analyst, ethical hacker, fraud examiner, hacking forensic investigator and an SAP consultant, in addition to his membership of many international organizations related to security.

With SAFE, Al-Thonayan is working to uplift the security services industry, maximize integration among security elements, support national security initiatives, offer best-in-class security solutions and combine world-class technology with the expertise of well-trained and distinguished security personnel.


Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022
Updated 23 May 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022
  • Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh reviewed the Kingdom’s successful experience with e-learning and distance education during the pandemic
  • Al-Sheikh met with several education ministers and officials, including UK Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is participating in the Education World Forum 2022 in London, UK, under the theme “Education: Building forward together; stronger, bolder, better.”

EWF 2022 brings together education ministers and professionals to address key issues and share challenges, solutions, learning, and success stories they have experienced during the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh is heading a delegation representing Saudi Arabia at the four-day forum, which kicked off May 22.

On the forum’s first day, Al-Sheikh delivered Saudi Arabia’s speech during the first session. He focused on how the Kingdom learned from the recent challenges, highlighting the Saudi experience in dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19. He also reviewed the Kingdom’s successful experience with e-learning and distance education during the pandemic.

Al-Sheikh met with several education ministers and officials, including UK Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi, the Special Representative of the Prime Minister for Education Dr. Sir Steve Smith, and the secretary of state at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and head of the British side of the Saudi-British Partnership Council, Kwasi Kwarteng.

He also met with the CEO of the British Council, the CEO of Microsoft International, and the Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, as well as executive leaders of various educational publishing houses and institutions.

Al-Sheikh also visited a number of prestigious UK universities and educational institutions, including University College London, Oxford University, the Center for Artificial Intelligence, and the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine Medical Center, as well as the Saudi Cultural Bureau in London, where he met with Saudi students studying at UK universities.

According to the organizers of the forum, EWF 2022 will assist in planning and developing education to support individual and collective resilience, and foster economic progress.

It will discuss major educational issues, such as ways to improve equity and assign resources more effectively, how education-providing institutions responded to the recent challenges, ways to accelerate collaborative innovation, building better citizens and societies, and improving education.


Assistant speaker of Shoura Council meets Saudi deputy minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy

Assistant speaker of Shoura Council meets Saudi deputy minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy
Updated 44 min 23 sec ago

Assistant speaker of Shoura Council meets Saudi deputy minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy

Assistant speaker of Shoura Council meets Saudi deputy minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy
  • The meeting was concluded by stressing the importance of continuous cooperation between the Shoura Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen the aims of parliamentary diplomacy

RIYADH: Saudi Assistant Speaker of the Shoura Council Dr. Hanan bint Abdulrahim Al-Ahmadi, met Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy Fahd bin Asaad Abulnasr at the council’s headquarters in Riyadh today.

During the meeting, they discussed the prospects of cooperation between the Shoura Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support the parliamentarian diplomacy of the Shoura Council, which is considered as an important and supportive dimension of public diplomacy to develop relations between the Kingdom and the brotherly countries.

The meeting also reviewed the role of the parliamentary friendship committees in the Shoura Council and their efforts to boost communication with the equivalent committees in the parliaments and legislative councils of the brotherly countries and their role in bringing various views closer and highlighting the Kingdom’s positions towards the various international issues and events.

The meeting pointed out the active role of the Shoura Council in the meetings of the regional and international parliamentary organizations and unions of which it is a member, and through which it is keen to highlight the point of view of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on various issues.

The meeting was concluded by stressing the importance of continuous cooperation between the Shoura Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen the aims of parliamentary diplomacy and support both parties’ efforts in support of the Kingdom’s foreign policy.


Saudis are natural-born storytellers, says Saudi Film Commission CEO

Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
Updated 22 May 2022

Saudis are natural-born storytellers, says Saudi Film Commission CEO

Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
  • Abdullah Al-Eyaf discusses the importance of Saudi talent during the 75th Cannes Film Festival

CANNES: Abdullah Al-Eyaf, the CEO of the Saudi Film Commission, aims to drive the Saudi film industry by fostering an environment for young Saudi filmmakers to develop their passions and talents.

During a panel discussion hosted on Sunday in the March du Film pavilion in Cannes, Al-Eyaf expressed his vision for Saudi youth filmmakers and the important role they play in the industry.

“We in the commission strongly believe in the filmmakers in Saudi, actually they are the reason behind all that we do,” Al-Eyaf said.

The Kingdom’s film industry is bursting with talent and passion from Saudi filmmakers, writers, and artisans. What is needed now is the strong support from an entity to facilitate that growth. This is where the Saudi Film Commission plans to come into play.

The Saudi Film Commission, under the Ministry of Culture, has conducted numerous outreach and education programs to help Saudi filmmakers in the industry through masterclasses, workshops and training.

According to the CEO, Saudis play a pivotal role in the industry’s growth on a global and local level.

“These young filmmakers started before the commission was established and they will continue with or without the film commission that’s why we think the industry will not be built in Saudi without these filmmakers,” Al-Eyaf said.

HIGHLIGHT

With many blockbusters films showing an interest in shooting in the Kingdom, doors are opening for Saudi production teams, special effects artists, actors and many more talents to contribute to the industry.

Therefore the commission is striving to establish a wider creative opportunity for Saudi talent through partnerships and representation in global film festivals such as the Cannes festival.

Through the organizations and initiatives of the Saudi Film Commission, the Saudi presence during the Cannes Film Festival has only grown stronger since the 74th Cannes film festival held in 2021.

It is known that Saudi Arabia has a wealth of locations through its 13 diverse provinces. During the initial days of the festival, this is what attracted many producers and filmmakers to the Saudi pavilion to learn more.

With many blockbusters films showing an interest in shooting in the Kingdom, doors are opening for Saudi production teams, special effects artists, actors and many more talents to contribute to the industry.

Al-Eyaf said that Saudis are natural-born storytellers; what is needed now is to support and empower them throughout the film sector.

“We really appreciate what they are doing and our only role is to support them and to have Saudi Arabia as a friendly environment for filmmakers to create their films and tell their stories to the world and to Saudi,” Al-Eyaf said.

The Saudi Film Commission aims to expand and strengthen the Saudi film industry on a local and global level through partnerships, investment and educational empowerment.

During the 75th Cannes Film Festival, the Saudi pavilion welcomed some of the biggest global names in the film industry — producers, directors and actors — to partner on Saudi film projects.

The commission’s role isn’t only to support Saudi talents but it’s also to foster a community where directors explore collaborative initiatives from filming in Saudi to creating films with some of the many Saudi talents in the sector.

In January the commission launched the third phase of the “Film Makers” program that took students through sets of comprehensive training workshops that were spread throughout the Kingdom.

“We have already contacted hundreds (of Saudi filmmakers) via either training programs, grants or the fund that we launched a couple of years ago,” the CEO said.

The commission has developed an incentive package for local and international filmmakers to establish the Kingdom as a global hub for film, creative production and industry talent.


People vaccinated against smallpox likely safe from monkeypox, says specialist‏‏

People vaccinated against smallpox likely safe from monkeypox, says specialist‏‏
Updated 23 May 2022

People vaccinated against smallpox likely safe from monkeypox, says specialist‏‏

People vaccinated against smallpox likely safe from monkeypox, says specialist‏‏
  • Saudi Ministry of Health has also confirmed that no cases of monkeypox have been detected in the Kingdom

JEDDAH: People who have received a vaccination against smallpox are “highly likely” to be safe from getting infected with monkeypox, a Saudi health specialist has said.

Dr. Nizar Bahabri, an infectious disease consultant, said in a video on his Twitter account, that the disease has been a well-known virus since 1950 and added the first case outside Africa was registered in 1970.

The Saudi Ministry of Health has also confirmed that no cases of monkeypox have been detected in the Kingdom, following reports that it has recently begun to appear in some European and North American countries.

“Since the disease is caused by a virus, no antibiotic can be used to cure the disease, some viruses and bacteria can be transmitted through air,” Bahabri said.

He also said that monkeypox is like smallpox in that it can be transmitted via droplets.

“It is difficult that one can get infected if they are two meters away from an infected person. Monkeypox can even only be transmitted from a shorter distance,” he said.

Cases being recorded in Europe are due to parties where people gather close to other infected people, he added.

“Those who have been vaccinated against smallpox are not likely to get infected by monkeypox, and here lies the importance of taking the vaccine,” Bahabri said.

The consultant pointed out that some people in Europe refused in the past to give anti-smallpox vaccines to their children, which has caused the virus to attack again.

Bahabri said that symptoms of monkeypox normally appear 12 days after coming into contact with an infected person. He added that an infected person normally recovers without any medication.

“Five percent of infected people get complications, while less than three percent die of the disease,” he said. “However, no deaths were reported in the countries with advanced health systems, with most of the deaths in Africa.”

The health ministry added in a post on Twitter that the disease can be transmitted by direct contact with blood or mucous of an infected animal.

It added that it can also be transmitted in humans through droplets, touching the blisters on an infected person’s skin or a hand touching contaminated surfaces.

The health ministry noted that the virus has an incubation period of 7-14 days, and that cannot extend to 21 days.

As for the symptoms, the ministry included high temperature, backache, skin rashes, lymphadenopathy, fatigue and muscle pain.

The ministry recommended people to avoid getting in contact with infected people, wearing gloves and face masks when close to patients, washing hands regularly and avoiding touching infected animals.