No monkeypox cases detected in Saudi Arabia, health ministry says

An electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions (L) and spherical immature virions (R). (CDC via AP)
An electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions (L) and spherical immature virions (R). (CDC via AP)
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Updated 22 May 2022

No monkeypox cases detected in Saudi Arabia, health ministry says

No monkeypox cases detected in Saudi Arabia, health ministry says

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health confirmed on Saturday that no cases of monkeypox have been detected in the Kingdom so far, following reports that it has recently begun to appear in some European and North American countries.
“The Ministry of Health indicated its complete readiness to monitor, investigate and deal with cases in the event of any,” is said in a statement, adding that all medical and laboratory tests are available, and it has also issued a guideline for health practitioners.
It added that it also has an integrated preventive and curative plan to deal with such cases if they appear, including identifying suspected and confirmed cases, and dealing with them.
“The International health regulations program in the Kingdom is in constant contact with the World Health Organization to find out details of any developments about the disease or monitor any cases around the world to ensure that there are no contacts with any cases monitored in the Kingdom,” it said.
The Ministry urged everyone to follow health and awareness guidelines issued by it and the Public Health Authority, and to take necessary preventive measures when traveling outside of the Kingdom, especially in the countries where the disease was detected.


King Salman receives written message from Qatar emir

King Salman receives written message from Qatar emir
Updated 14 sec ago

King Salman receives written message from Qatar emir

King Salman receives written message from Qatar emir

RIYADH: King Salman received a written message from the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Wednesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The message touched on “brotherly relations” between the two countries and was received by the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan during a meeting with the Qatari ambassador to Saudi Arabia Bandar bin Muhammad Al-Attiyah.

The two officials discussed bilateral relations between their countries and ways of enhancing them in various fields during the meeting in Riyadh.

They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest.


Dul Hijjah crescent moon sighted; Eid Al-Adha to begin on July 9

Dul Hijjah crescent moon sighted; Eid Al-Adha to begin on July 9
Updated 43 min 12 sec ago

Dul Hijjah crescent moon sighted; Eid Al-Adha to begin on July 9

Dul Hijjah crescent moon sighted; Eid Al-Adha to begin on July 9
  • Hajj will start on July 6 and end on July 10, with Arafat Day falling on July 8

RIYADH: Following the sighting of the crescent moon on Wednesday evening, it has been announced that the five-day Eid Al-Adha celebration will begin on July 9. This will be the 10th day of Dul Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic Hijri calendar.

The Eid Al-Adha celebrations commemorate the Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah. As a test of Ibrahim’s commitment to obeying his Lord’s command without question, Allah ordered him to sacrifice his son, Ismail. Ibrahim was willing to do what was asked of him but at the last moment Allah replaced Ismail with a ram. Eid Al-Adha is therefore known as the festival of sacrifice.

Dul Hijjah, which begins this year on June 30, is the month during which the Hajj pilgrimage takes place. Hajj will start on the 7th day of Dul Hijjah (July 6), and end on the 11th day of the month (July 10). Arafat Day falls on the 9th day of Dul Hijjah (July 8).

Pilgrims’ tents at Arafat, as well as accommodation in Mina and Muzdalifah, have been inspected and are fully prepared to receive the guests of God for Hajj, authorities said.

On June 4, Saudi Arabia welcomed the first foreign pilgrims to arrive in the country for Hajj since the start of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

The pilgrims, who flew to Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah from Indonesia, were presented with flowers, dates and Zamzam water.


‘Exciting time’ for renewable energy collaboration between UK and Saudi Arabia, experts tell London forum

‘Exciting time’ for renewable energy collaboration between UK and Saudi Arabia, experts tell London forum
Updated 29 June 2022

‘Exciting time’ for renewable energy collaboration between UK and Saudi Arabia, experts tell London forum

‘Exciting time’ for renewable energy collaboration between UK and Saudi Arabia, experts tell London forum
  • UK-Saudi Renewable Energy Forum on June 28, organized by Saudi British Joint Business Council, brought together Saudi and UK investors and business leaders

LONDON: It is an “exciting time” to be working with Saudi Arabia and “exploring collaboration” in renewable energy, experts said at a joint UK-Saudi panel on Tuesday.

The UK-Saudi Renewable Energy Forum on June 28, organized by the Saudi British Joint Business Council, brought together Saudi and UK investors and business leaders to discuss clean energy programs in both countries and the finance available to support decarbonization and the energy transition.

Attended by a high-level Saudi official delegation, as well as a private sector delegation, the event built on the success of SBJBC’s Sustainable Investment Forum in July last year.

The event followed the recent launch of the Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives and the ongoing commitment from both the Saudi and British governments to invest in carbon capture, hydrogen and clean fuels in order to address climate change and meet net-zero emission targets.

“There’s been a strong regulatory evolution [in this field] across the GCC, so I think it’s a really exciting time to be getting involved in Saudi Arabia,” managing partner at Ashurst Middle East David Charlier said.

Orral Nadjari, founder and CEO at Britishvolt, agreed now was the time to be working closely with the Kingdom in the sector.

“We need to localize manufacturing and reinvent outdated supply chains, so we’re very interested in exploring collaboration with Saudi Arabia,” he said.

UK Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone was a key speaker at the event, and he said the global political will to enact change has been visible in recent years.

“We need to see more partnership between our countries. There’s a real desire for change,” he said.

“From hosting COP26 in Glasgow to welcoming key investors to the Global Investment Summit in London, the UK is deeply committed to tackling climate change at all levels.

“Investment is crucial to this, through nurturing technological developments and propelling our economy towards a cleaner, greener future.

“I’m looking forward to working with Saudi Arabia and countries the world over to commit to increasing cooperation in green technology and clean energy to work towards a more sustainable future for all,” he added.

Ahead of the forum, Lord Mayor of the City of London Vincent Keaveny said: “As we pass the halfway point between COP26 and COP27, this forum will be essential for driving progress towards global net-zero. As the world’s largest oil exporter, it’s vital that Saudi Arabia is part of the solution towards tackling climate change.”


‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims
Updated 29 June 2022

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims
  • Consultations, diagnoses and medicine prescriptions to be done virtually
  • Health Ministry partners with Saudi telecoms firm and Seha Virtual Hospital

RIYADH: Saudi Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel has launched a “holodoctor” service, in partnership with the Saudi Telecommunications Co., that would allow medical practitioners to treat Hajj pilgrims virtually.

These services include “inspection, diagnosis, and disbursing medicines” through direct contact with the Kingdom’s first Seha Virtual Hospital in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported the minister as saying.

The minister thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for continuing to provide the services and facilities needed by pilgrims to complete their Hajj in comfort and safety.

Al-Jalajel said the Ministry of Health has prepared meticulously for medical care at the holy sites, including several hospitals and health centers, which are equipped with ambulances under the supervision of experienced personnel.

He said Seha Virtual Hospital provides 24-hour access for x-rays, and can deal with strokes and other serious medical situations. Doctors can communicate directly with patients and check all biomarkers.

Those needing information on care can telephone the number 937, access the Sehhaty application, or check the ministry’s Twitter account.


No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn
Updated 29 June 2022

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn
  • Hajj violators face 10,000 Saudi riyal fine

RIYADH: People attempting to perform the Hajj pilgrimage without a permit face a $2,666 fine, Saudi Arabia’s general security said in a statement on Wednesday.

The authority’s official spokesperson said pilgrims must obtain a Hajj permit from the relevant entities before attempting to perform the Muslim rituals. 

 

 

In the statement posted on Twitter, Brigadier Sami bin Mohammed Al-Shuwairkh urged pilgrims to strictly follow Hajj instructions, while stressing that security forces would “fulfill their duties” in securing routes leading to the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the rest of the holy premises to prevent any violations.

Saudi Arabia earlier said it permitted over one million pilgrims from overseas to perform Hajj this year for the first time in two years of COVID-19 restrictions, which limited the pilgrimage to residents of the Kingdom.