Saudi Arabia announces 3 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announced 3 deaths from COVID-19 and 173 new infections on Friday. (SPA)
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Updated 16 January 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 3 more COVID-19 deaths

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 356,382
  • A total of 6,313 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Friday reported three new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related deaths. The death toll now stands at 6,313.
There were 173 new cases reported in the Kingdom, meaning 364,613 people have now contracted the disease. There are 1,918 active cases, 310 of them in critical condition.

According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 66 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 43 in Makkah, and nine in Madinah.
In addition, 181 more patients have recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 356,382. Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 11,585,903 PCR tests, with 50,695 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the pandemic.

FASTFACTS

364,613 Total cases

356,382 Recoveries

Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms, or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell and breathing difficulties.
Appointments to either services can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app.


17-day 'festival of light' to illuminate Riyadh in March

Updated 04 March 2021

17-day 'festival of light' to illuminate Riyadh in March

  • Saudi capital will be transformed into giant art gallery of sculptures and outdoor installations

RIYADH: A 17-day “festival of light” in Riyadh in March will transform the Saudi capital into a giant art gallery of sculptures, lighting displays, interactive performances and outdoor installations.
The festival will also feature workshops, discussions, tours, presentations, volunteer programs, cinematic and musical events, and recreational and educational activities.
“It aims to improve the city’s quality of life in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and to enhance the cultural and artistic aspects of the city, by transforming Riyadh into an open art gallery that blends the traditional with the contemporary,” said Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the Minister of Culture.
He said the festival sought to enhance community interaction, spread art and beauty throughout the city, and enrich the daily life of its residents and its visitors, by promoting art in public places and the local art movement, and encouraging more creativity and innovation.
Lighting artists from more than 20 countries will take part in the festival, nearly half of them Saudi. The participants from the Kingdom are Ahmed Mater, Lulwah Al-Homoud, Ayman Zidani, Rashed Al-Shashai and Maha Mallouh. Prominent international artists taking part are Daniel Buren, Carsten Holler, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Yayoi Kusama and Dan Flavin.
The Noor Riyadh festival is the first event organized by the Riyadh Art Program, one of four major projects launched by King Salman in March 2019. It will run from March 18-April 3.


Saudi aid agency continues projects in Yemen, Jordan

Updated 04 March 2021

Saudi aid agency continues projects in Yemen, Jordan

AL-MAHRA: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) launched the second phase of the winter clothes project in Yemen’s Al-Mahrah governorate on Wednesday. The aid, which included winter clothing, has benefited 700 people so far.
Local Council Secretary-General Abdullah Neimer praised the role of Saudi Arabia represented by KSrelief for its efforts and interventions in various sectors.
In Yemen also, KSrelief distributed more than 76,184 tons of foodstuffs for those in need in the rural areas of Hadibu, the capital of the Socotra archipelago province.
Meanwhile in Jordan, KSrelief clinics continued providing medical services in the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees. More than 400 patients with various conditions were provided with medical services and prescriptions at different clinics.


DiplomaticQuarter: British Embassy in Riyadh announces finalists for Study UK Alumni Awards

Updated 04 March 2021

DiplomaticQuarter: British Embassy in Riyadh announces finalists for Study UK Alumni Awards

The British Embassy and British Council in Saudi Arabia have announced the nine finalists for the “Study UK Alumni Awards 2021 in Saudi Arabia.”
The finalists were selected from about 1,300 applicants for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders, and for their contributions to strengthening collaborative ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia, a statement by the embassy said.
The three award winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by the British ambassador later this year.
The Study UK Alumni Awards were established in 2014 and celebrate the achievements of those who graduated from UK-based higher education institutions and went on to make outstanding contributions in various fields.
Neil Crompton, British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “I am delighted to announce the finalists for the Study UK Alumni Awards 2021. This award celebrates the achievements of outstanding Saudi women and men who studied in the UK and are using their education to make a positive impact. As strategic partners for Vision 2030, we are proud of their achievements and contribution to their country. My congratulations to all our finalists and I look forward to meeting them at the award ceremony.”
Eilidh Kennedy McLean, British Council country director said: “The Study UK Alumni Awards provide a platform for recognizing and celebrating the success of Saudi alumni of UK universities. Their achievements are wide-ranging and inspirational, and directly contribute to the Vision 2030 goals and aspirations. The prestigious international award celebrates UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni all over the world. Now in its seventh year, international UK alumni applied from over 100 countries, representing almost 150 UK higher education institutions across the UK.”
The finalists of the “Professional Achievement Award,” which recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership in their professional field, are: Dr. Taghred Al-Ghaith, Dr. Roua Al-Subki, and Dr. Mohammed Al-Shammari.
The finalists of the “Social Impact Award,” which acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution to creating positive social change, are: Mashni Al-Saeed, Abdulmohsen Al-Dayel, and Dr. Bandar Al-Osaimi.
The finalists of the “Entrepreneurial Award,” which highlights alumni who have played a leading role in innovation, are: Dr. Wail Mousa, Arwa Al-Ammari, and Hattan Ahmed.
The Study UK Awards ceremonies are held in 13 countries including the US, China, Pakistan and Egypt.
 


Muslim World League chief thanks Sri Lankan government for ending cremation of COVID-19 victims

Updated 04 March 2021

Muslim World League chief thanks Sri Lankan government for ending cremation of COVID-19 victims

RIYADH: The Sri Lankan government has agreed to the request of the Muslim World League (MWL) — in accordance with Islamic procedures — to stop cremating the bodies of Muslims who have died of COVID-19.
The news came in a phone call to Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, MWL secretary-general, from Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dinesh Gunawardena.
During the call, Gunawardena told Al-Issa that the Sri Lankan government had agreed to the MWL’s request. Gunawardena said that this served to strengthen the close relationship between the MWL, which is a global reference for Muslim nations, and the Sri Lankan government.
Al-Issa thanked Sri Lanka for approving the MWL’s request to stop the cremation of the bodies of Muslims and instead allow their burial.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also welcomed the Sri Lankan government’s decision.
The OIC said that it had on several occasions during the pandemic called on Sri Lankan authorities to refrain from cremating Muslims and to give them an Islamic burial.
 

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How Saudi Arabia acted swiftly and coordinated a global response to fight the coronavirus, preventing a far worse crisis at home and around the world
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Saudi intellectual property authority confiscates, destroys millions of products in violation of laws 

Updated 04 March 2021

Saudi intellectual property authority confiscates, destroys millions of products in violation of laws 

JEDDAH: The Saudi Authority of Intellectual Property (SAIP) announced that it has confiscated and destroyed more than 5.5 million items in 2020 that were found to be violating the country’s intellectual property (IP) regulations.
“These items included pirated DVDs, CDs and books; and illegal desktops, laptops, hard disks, memory chips, TV satellite boxes and CD-copying devices. We also cooperated with Saudi Customs to seize and destroy more than 2 million counterfeited products. These included shoes, clothes, mobile accessories, sanitary ware and car filters, all bearing well-known trademarks from major international companies,” said Yasser Al-Debassi, executive director of IP Respect at SAIP.
SAIP seeks to improve the protection of IP by developing its enforcement system, ensuring the quality of its operations and increasing transparency between itself and the private sector.
In its recently released 2020 report, SAIP said that it had received 67 cases directly from plaintiffs, who reported their complaints to the authority.
It added that 115 cases were conducted through inspection visits to websites. Over 300 cases were conducted through other online inspections, while 42 cases were referred to SAIP by the Ministry of Media.
The report revealed that most of the IP infringements occurred in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, with a rate of 61 percent. Makkah ranked second with 24 percent, while the Eastern Province came third with 14 percent.
The remaining 9 percent of violations took place in other Saudi cities. However, the report said, some complaints were dismissed for “uncompleted requirements.”
The report added that most cases were art-related, involving the infringement of rights for photographs, audio, videos, and designs. Literary cases and research formed 25 percent of the total number of cases, while software infringement cases reached 12 percent.
a responded to more than 5,790 emails and phone calls, reporting violations through its different communication channels.
It confirmed in its report that 119 resolutions were issued by the copyright committee, assigned to review violations of the copyright law.
“The IP Respect surveillance team has visited and examined over 1,350 websites and detected 308 violated websites. It filed the cases to the Permanent Internet Committee, who ruled that these websites be blocked,” Al-Debassi told Arab News. “Fines of more than SR255,000 ($68,000) were imposed on the violators. The violations ranged from literary works to sports TV broadcasting.”
The authority launched online inspection campaigns to block the websites, which, without permission from right owners, either posted copyrighted photos and graphics on social media platforms; exhibited copies of copyrighted books and magazines; and allowed for the viewing and download of copyrighted series, movies or pirated software.
SAIP also launched copyright-enforcement campaigns in Riyadh, Makkah, Jeddah, Dammam, Alkhobar, and Al-Ahsa, with the aim of stopping all infringement activities and copyright-related violations in computer software and programs, satellite broadcasting, and printed or audiovisual materials.
The sectors targeted by the campaigns included video, electronics, computer maintenance and students’ services stores, which provide document-copying services.
“SAIP is currently working on tracking new piracy trends and addressing the challenges facing industries. It is doing its best to ensure compliance with IP laws and regulations in the Kingdom in order to maintain an attractive business environment,” Al-Debassi said.
SAIP has launched a number of initiatives at the national level, including a national enforcement committee for IP.
It is also working closely with its partners in the private sector, global associations and IP protection offices to fight piracy.
“SAIP has partnered with right holders to combat counterfeiting. We have conducted meetings with our partners from tech companies, such as Microsoft, to discuss the latest methods of piracy for its software and operating systems. The authority has also met with media company OSN to discuss the challenge of illegal Internet Protocol television boxes and subscriptions,” Al-Debassi added.
 

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