GCC national ID not valid for travel
- King Fahd Causeway Passports raises operational capacity
RIYADH: Using a national ID as a document for traveling to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries remains suspended, a spokesman for the Eastern Province Passports said.
Citizens wishing to travel must verify the conditions of the destination country and ensure they are met, Mualla Al-Otaibi added.
In February last year, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to suspend GCC citizens’ use of national identity cards for travel to and from the Kingdom, coinciding with the onset of precautionary measures to combat COVID-19.
Al-Otaibi said the border points of the Eastern Region Passports had resumed work after the lifting of travel suspensions through all air, land and sea ports on May 17.
“Preventive maintenance work was carried out for all border backup devices and systems,” said Al-Otaibi.
A further 10 lanes have been installed in the departure area, bringing the total number of lanes to 27, with 36 lanes in the arrival area.
King Fahd Causeway Passports increased its operational capacity by 30 percent to facilitate passenger travel.
The spokesman said that meetings and workshops were held with port authorities to ensure speedy and smooth travel, while applying all precautions.
The movement of passengers leaving for Bahrain had decreased sharply since Monday morning, he said. The director general of Saudi Customs at the King Fahd Causeway, Dhaifallah Al-Otaibi, told Arab News they were ready to receive arrivals and departures through the causeway, and to provide customs services to travelers of all categories.
Customs at the causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain strived to enhance customs procedures, he added.
We are ready to receive arrivals and departures through the causeway.
Dhaifallah Al-Otaibi, DG Saudi Customs
He confirmed the continued cooperation and coordination between all parties operating at the border crossing, and that port authorities were all working as one business system to provide the best services.
“Customs (the land link between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) continues to take precautionary measures, (which are) more intense with the start of travel between the two countries to ensure the maximum levels of safety recommended to protect travelers and arrivals, in addition to protecting the employees of the port,” he added.
Customs at the King Fahd Causeway continued working on freight traffic since the suspension of personal travel between the two countries last year, he said.
Causeway customs statistics said that procedures for about 272,000 trucks entering and leaving the Kingdom had been completed between March 2020 until the end of April 2021, while about 325,000 vehicles had crossed the causeway in both directions since the beginning of this year.
Saudi Arabia announces $20m grant to help cover Sudan’s debt with IMF
- King Salman and the crown prince were keen to ease Sudan’s debt burden
LONDON: Saudi Arabia has provided a $20 million grant toward covering part of Sudan’s financial debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the grant was an extension to previous support provided by the Kingdom to Sudan.
He was speaking as he led the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris on Monday.
Saudi Arabia also announced it would transfer the balance into the two emergency and deferred fees accounts with the IMF, to contribute to the handling of arrears and alleviate Sudan’s debt burden.
Prince Faisal said that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were keen to ease Sudan’s debt burden and contribute to addressing the nation’s arrears, in addition to “enhancing Saudi investments in Sudan and the Kingdom’s support for all sectors that would achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people toward further progress, prosperity and development,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
“What unites us together today is our common goal to support the transitional phase that Sudan is going through toward a bright and prosperous future, and based on this, on April 13, 2019, my country announced its full support for the Sudanese people regarding their future and the measures taken are in their interest.”
He said that the Kingdom provided a package of humanitarian and development aid.
Prince Faisal said that the Kingdom was one of the first countries that contributed and participated, through the framework of the Friends of Sudan Group, in supporting this transitional phase in Sudan.
“This comes from my country’s belief in the importance of activating Sudan’s regional role and providing everything that would protect Sudan and preserve its security,” Prince Faisal added.
He said he appreciated the roles of the US, France, and the UK and their tireless efforts in supporting Sudan under for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
The Kingdom’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan also attended the conference in the French capital, which was part of the Summit on the Financing of African Economies that is attended by more than 40 countries and will continue until Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 886 new cases
- The Kingdom said 1,127 patients recovered in past 24 hours
- 9 mosques temporarily closed after some people tested positive for coronavirus
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 12 new COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,174.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 886 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 433,980 people have now contracted the disease.
Of the total number of cases, 7,892 remain active and 1,377 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 281, followed by Makkah with 250, the Eastern Province with 97, Madinah recorded 63 and Asir confirmed 51 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,127 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 418,914.
#الصحة تعلن عن تسجيل (886) حالة إصابة جديدة بفيروس كورونا (كوفيد-19)، وتسجيل (12) حالات وفيات رحمهم الله، وتسجيل (1127) حالة تعافي ليصبح إجمالي عدد الحالات المتعافية (418,914) حالة ولله الحمد. pic.twitter.com/6yLMnQjLGq— و ز ا ر ة ا لـ صـ حـ ة السعودية (@SaudiMOH) May 17, 2021
The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporary closed nine mosques in six regions after some people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed to 1,210 within 100 days, 1,188 of which have reopened after being sterilized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 163 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.39 million.
Saudi Red Crescent Authority declares success in Ramadan plan
MAKKAH: The Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) declared the success of its plan during Ramadan by being available in the central region and inside the Grand Mosque in Makkah, with the participation of 500 female and male volunteers who provided more than 49,000 volunteer hours, via the SRCA branch in Makkah, and on the roads leading to it.
SRCA said that during Ramadan, Makkah centers received 9,411 reports, most of which were for cases of sickness with 5,713 reports including respiratory diseases, diabetes, fainting and epilepsy, while accident reports reached 3,698 including car accidents, falls and burns.
SRCA receives reports via the free-toll number 997 or via the “Asefni” smartphone application.
On May 8, SRCA marked World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day by celebrating the efforts of humanitarian workers for “their inspiring role in pushing forward the wheel of development.”
SRCA President Dr. Jalal Al-Owaisi said that the authority was keen to consolidate and spread human values and enhance community awareness.
Accredited labs to provide Saudi travelers with pre-travel PCR tests as flights resume
- More than 11.5 million vaccine doses have been administered so far in Saudi Arabia
- Fifteen deaths due to complications from COVID-19 were reported, raising the death toll to 7,162
JEDDAH: More than 100 Ministry of Health (MoH) accredited laboratories across Saudi Arabia are ready to provide Saudi travelers with pre-travel PCR tests as international flights resume.
Residents of the Kingdom can check the list available at https://covid19.cdc.gov.sa/ar/approved-covid-19-laboratories-ar/private-laboratories-ar/.
After weeks of fluctuating numbers, Saudi Arabia’s daily case counts are finally stabilizing again according to the MoH spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly.
With a significant difference between daily case counts and recoveries of late, the MoH’s spokesman confirmed in Sunday’s press conference that the epidemiological curve could start declining if the daily case counts continue to record lower numbers in the next few weeks.
“The best way to ensure the decline is if members of the Saudi community continue to register and receive their COVID vaccine jabs, and the public’s continued adherence to following all health and safety precautionary measures and protocols,” said the spokesman.
More than 11.5 million vaccine doses have been administered so far at a rate of 33 doses per hundred, and 33 percent of the Kingdom’s 34.8 million population has received at least one jab so far.
A total of 825 new cases were reported on Sunday, raising the total number of cases to 433,094.
For the fourth day in a row, the number of recoveries continue to be reported above the 1,000-case mark with 1,028 recoveries reported, raising the total number of cases to 417,787. The Kingdom’s current recovery rate has increased to 96.4 percent.
With the rising recovery rate, there has been a significant decline in the number of active cases, with only 8,145 instances. The number of critical cases still remain a concern for authorities as 45 patients were admitted to ICUs in the past 24 hours, raising the number of critical cases to 1,376.
Of Sunday’s cases, only two regions recorded numbers in the triple digits, with Makkah leading for the first time in months with 263 cases followed by Riyadh with 231 cases. The Northern Borders reported only five cases and Jouf four.
Fifteen deaths due to complications from COVID-19 were reported, raising the death toll to 7,162.
A total of 54,049 new PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of PCR tests in the Kingdom to more than 17.9 million so far.