Joint efforts, proactive planning ‘enabled Saudi Arabia to defeat the virus’

©Arab News

Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has achieved success in its fight against the coronavirus, “thanks to our proactive planning and preparedness, and through the combined efforts of everyone and our willingness to be responsible,” said the Kingdom’s minister of commerce and acting media minister on Thursday.

“This virus has affected the entire world. It is deadly, and quick to spread. It has affected everyone emotionally, economically, socially, and mentally. And the Kingdom is just one part of this,” said Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, addressing a press conference.

The Saudi minister of media on Thursday unveiled plans to hold periodic press conferences to promote transparency and open communication on issues of national importance.

Al-Qasabi said the media briefings would feature ministers and heads of government agencies and sectors.

“Our investment in developing our digital infrastructure enabled us in our fight against the pandemic,” Al-Qasabi said.

He highlighted the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to tackle the virus outbreak, which had put the country among the top 10 nations in the world in terms of their response to the global crisis.

Al-Qasabi pointed out that in four months, 4,000 new intensive care unit beds had been made available to deal with COVID-19 cases, more than 9 million polymerase chain reaction tests had been carried out, and at least 12 million medical consultations had taken place.

He also noted that Saudi Arabia would be one of the first countries to receive a vaccine. Al-Qasabi thanked Saudi schoolteachers for their efforts in keeping the learning process moving during the pandemic.

During the first of the briefings, Al-Qasabi indicated that the Kingdom today, “thanks to Vision 2030, is the most reformed regarding women’s empowerment and work activities, according to the World Bank 2020 report.

He highlighted the key achievements of the Vision 2030 reform plan, particularly on future employment, and revealed plans to further the vision’s agenda.

The minister pointed out that more than 80 percent of government services had been available even during the imposed lockdowns in the first half of the year.

More than 255,000 judicial sessions had been held electronically this year, and in excess of 53 million medical consultations had also taken place virtually.

On female rights, he described women as being the backbone of society and lauded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his efforts on behalf of Saudi women.

He also spoke about the Kingdom’s ongoing battle against corruption, calling it “the cancer of development and the first enemy of any societal growth.”

He said consumer rights were a “top priority” for the country and spoke about the ministry’s efforts to regulate trade during the peak of the pandemic and ensure that food and health supplies were not being hoarded.

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