Smartphones sell for SR100 in Riyadh

Updated 19 March 2016

Smartphones sell for SR100 in Riyadh

RIYADH: Worshippers coming out of a mosque after Friday prayers were surprised to find a young man selling smartphones for SR100.
The vendor, outside the Malaz mosque, claimed that they were original phones from the manufacturers. He told his customers that they have all the features of the same model sold in reputable stores.
On checking the product, Arab News found that they were made in an unknown country and differ from the original phone in appearance, weight and functions. However, some worshippers bought the products because of the attractive price compared to those on the local market.
An eyewitness to the sale outside the mosque told Arab News that such phones do not last long and the quality of the battery is weak. He said that buyers will not be able to send SMSs through this device.
“Its radiation level is very high and it's not safety tested for human use,” he added.
One observer said he earlier bought such a counterfeit phone for SR200 but could not register the device with any mobile operator since its origin was not known.
An Asian, who bought the fake phone, said that he would not get such a phone for SR100. He said he would use it for as long as possible and then throw it away. “It has value for the money,” he stressed.
According to the Consumer Protection Association (CPA), commercial fraud cost the government and society a massive SR40 billion in 2010.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry also created awareness advertisements warning customers about counterfeit goods and other illegal practices with the aim of protecting consumer interests.


Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 38 min 52 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.