Blood donation drive for Saudi troops launched

Updated 19 March 2016

Blood donation drive for Saudi troops launched

RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz Medical City at the Ministry of National Guard (MNG) has launched a blood donation drive at the Riyadh International Book Fair.
“The campaign, titled “We sacrifice our blood for the protectors of the homeland,” is being held for the Saudi troops securing the southern borders of the Kingdom,” said Dr. Bandar Qanawi, executive director of health affairs at the National Guard.
He was referring to Saudi troops assigned in Najran, Asir and Jazan.
“A mobile blood bank, equipped with state-of-the art medical technology, has been provided for the campaign,” he said.
The campaign collects 30 units of blood a day, said Qanawi, adding: “We can collect more for the protectors of the homeland.”
Qanawi said that he was hoping the example shown by those who have donated would also arouse the interest of others to donate for the campaign.
He said that last year, 36,000 units were donated but only 27,000 were used.
“We are keen to educate visitors and participants in the blood donation campaign on the importance of knowledge and safety procedures to ensure the integrity of donated blood. We do this through leaflets containing the necessary medical information.”

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 16 min 53 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.