King Salman: G20 meeting will unite global coronavirus response

Journalists sit in the media center during the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, February 22, 2020. (File Photo)
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Updated 26 March 2020

King Salman: G20 meeting will unite global coronavirus response

  • The king will chair an extraordinary virtual summit of G20 leaders on Thursday to advance the global coordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak

RIYADH: King Salman has said the G20 extraordinary summit on Thursday will unite the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges to healthcare systems and the global economy, we convene this extraordinary G20 summit to unite efforts towards a global response. May God spare humanity from all harm," the king said on Twitter.

Among world leaders taking part in Thursday’s summit. A communique will be published after it ends.

 

 

The G20 is usually a once-a-year event, but two meetings were held in 2009 and 2010, at the height of the global financial crisis. It is a mark of how seriously leaders regard the virus threat that they have agreed to an “extraordinary” summit ahead of the formal scheduled gathering in Riyadh in November.

The G20 comprises the 19 biggest national economies in the world, plus the EU. Spain, Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland will also take part in the meeting, and the UAE will be represented as chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The World Health Organization, the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are among the international organizations that will take part, as well as other development organizations.

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So far in the economic response to the health emergency, governments around the world have spent an estimated $4.5 trillion on financial stimulus packages and economic assistance, the biggest being the $2 trillion in aid agreed by the US Congress this week.

The king said on Tuesday that he would chair the summit to advance the global coordinated response to the outbreak.

As well as the leaders of the G20 group, the heads of state of Jordan, Spain, Singapore and Switzerland will also participate.

Saudi Arabia currently holds the presidency of the G20.


Pilgrims to quarantine for 14 days after Hajj

Updated 56 min 28 sec ago

Pilgrims to quarantine for 14 days after Hajj

  • COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia continue to fall, officials say

JEDDAH: Pilgrims who took part in this year’s Hajj must continue wearing electronic tags so authorities can track their 14-day quarantine once they return home.

The bracelet is designed to monitor pilgrims’ adherence to quarantine, as well as monitoring and recording their health status through the “Tatamman” app.
Pilgrims were required to quarantine before embarking on the Hajj and wore the bracelets to ensure they were obeying the self-isolation rules as part of strict measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The country continues to experience a decline in COVID-19 cases. Recorded infections remain below the 2,000 mark for the 10th day in a row. The Kingdom reported 1,258 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, raising the number of those infected to 280,093 so far.
There are currently 35,091 active cases and six patients were admitted to critical care units, raising the number to 2,017. There were 32 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 2,949.
There were 1,972 new recoveries recorded, raising the total number of recoveries to 242,053.
More than 41,361 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests have been conducted in the past 24 hours. The total number of PCR tests conducted to date exceeds 3.47 million.

INNUMBERS

280,093 COVID-19 cases

242,053 Recoveries

35,091 Active cases

2,949 Total deaths

3.47m PCR tests

The Ministry of Health has been carrying out daily visits to health institutions in order to assess their level of commitment to anti-coronavirus measures, such as ensuring that staff adhere to social distancing, wear masks, and adopt the health practices and crisis management mechanisms recommended by authorities to protect patients and staff.
Teams have been dispatched to supervise the compliance of health facilities’ quarantine centers across Saudi Arabia and stepped up their visits to government and private hospitals to ensure their compliance with health protocols, sample transfers and staff testing as well as ensuring that all routine surgeries are stopped.
More than 5,000 violations have been recorded and violators were referred to committees. More than 150 facilities were temporarily shut down by the ministry until the proper protocols were implemented and the violations were fixed. A number of institutions were able to resume operations after settling fines.