Ban on shisha and children's games to continue in Saudi restaurants

Agencies
June 22, 2020

Riyadh, Jun 22: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MMRA) in Saudi Arabia has announced the continuation of the ban on providing Shisha (hubble-bubble), and the closure of children's play areas in restaurants as a precautionary measure for protecting the health of citizens and residents from the novel coronavirus COVID-19 infection.

The new stage, in which the Kingdom is beginning to coexist with the virus, focuses on the concept of "social distancing" that has emerged since the start of the coronavirus crisis throughout the world,

It stipulates leaving at least 2 meters between one person and the other in public places to prevent the transmission of infection, in addition to covering the mouth and nose by wearing a facemask.

It also specifies complying with the preventive protocols in workplaces, stores, shops, mosques and tourist attractions, with human gatherings not to exceed 50 people, as a maximum.

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News Network
June 7,2021

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Riyadh, June 7: Announcements about this year’s Haj could be made in the coming days as the Kingdom completes its assessments of the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, said the acting Saudi minister of media, Dr Majid Al Qasabi.

At a press conference held in Riyadh on Sunday, Al Qasabi said the Saudi authorities are following up on (the pandemic) updates and the ministers of Haj and Umrah and health will soon announce a decision.

He said that, due to Covid variants, it was important to evaluate the damage from the spread of the virus carefully and correctly: “We don’t want this year’s Haj to be an epicentre for the spread of the disease in the Kingdom or the Muslim world.”

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has worked hard to improve the services provided in the Haj and Umrah sector, amid the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic.

The Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Services for Haj and Umrah performers, Eng. Hesham Abdulmonem Saeed, told the press conference that the safe Umrah model aims to protect people by managing the crowds going to the Grand Mosque through booked time slots and improving the services provided for pilgrims through the application of the most modern techniques to meet their personal needs.

He noted that the Eatmarna app developed by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) also verifies the health of permit applicants.

He said that the work to serve the pilgrims was a joint operation involving the public, private and voluntary sectors.

He said: “There is continued cooperation between the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques and all relevant authorities to help pilgrims and visitors perform Hajj and Umrah with ease.”

Last year’s Haj and the gradual return of Umrah in October was permitted after a safe model had been developed, focusing on modern technology and digitizing the procedures to provide pilgrims with the services they needed through different options provided by the ministry.

These tech-focused models included the Eatmarna application, which allowed users to request permits (praying permits, Umrah permits and Rawdah praying permits) in Makkah and Madinah’s mosques. More than 20 million people have benefitted from the app and more than 30,000 have used the services provided by Inaya (care) centres in Makkah and Madinah, established to serve pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah also provided safe transportation services by setting up four sites to transport worshippers and pilgrims to and from the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

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News Network
June 12,2021

Riyadh, June 12: Saudi Arabia said it will limit registration for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to citizens and residents of the Kingdom in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministries of health and Hajj announced Saturday that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year.

It stressed that those wishing to perform Hajj must be free of any chronic diseases, and to be within the ages from 18 to 65 years for those vaccinated against the virus according to the kingdom’s vaccination measures.  

Hajj pilgrims should be fully vaccinated, or those who took one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before, or those who are vaccinated after recovering from coronavirus infection.

The decision is “based on the Kingdom’s constant keenness to enable the guests and visitors at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah,” the ministry said. “The Kingdom puts human health and safety first.”

The hajj begins mid-July. 

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News Network
June 10,2021

New Delhi, June 10: External Affairs Minister of India S Jaishankar arrived in Kuwait on a bilateral visit early on Thursday.

According to diplomatic sources, the aim of the visit is to deepen India's ties with the oil-rich Gulf nation.

It comes nearly three months after the two countries decided to establish a joint ministerial commission to formulate a framework to strengthen ties in sectors like energy, trade, investment, manpower and labour and information technology.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah visited India in March during which both sides decided to set up the joint commission.

"Hon'ble External Affairs Minister of India His Excellency Dr S Jaishankar arrives in Kuwait on a bilateral visit and was received by the Ambassador," the Indian Embassy there tweeted on Thursday with the hashtag 'India Kuwait Friendship'.

Kuwait has been supporting India in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic by supplying relief material as well as medical oxygen.

Indian Navy ships have brought a large quantity of medical oxygen from Kuwait in the last few weeks.

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