Saudi G20 Presidency to lead virus campaign to collect $8bn

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman urged G20 leaders on Thursday to take firm measures and “effective and coordinated” action to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (G20 Saudi Arabia)

JEDDAH (Rahnuma): Saudi Arabia is joining forces with global partners to kickstart the Coronavirus Global Response campaign to raise funds to overcome the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The campaign, launched by the Saudi G20 Presidency on May 4, is an answer to a joint call made by the World Health Organization (WHO) and global health organizations to produce a fund to develop safe, effective vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics at an affordable cost and accessible for all.

A target of $8 billion in funds has been initially announced by the G20.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Health Ministry announced that there are 80,000 hospital beds and 8,000 intensive care unit beds for the treatment of COVID-19 cases across the Kingdom.

“These beds are distributed across different hospitals across the Kingdom including health facilities in public and private sectors,” said Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly.

The ministry has conducted over 350,000 polymerase chain reaction tests.

Elsewhere, the Saudi Ministry of Interior isolated an industrial area of the eastern city of Dammam from Sunday, preventing entry and exit until further notice, to contain the spread of the COVID-19. Vital factories have been allowed to operate at one-third capacity.

Meanwhile, 1,552 new cases were reported on Sunday, reaching a total of 27,011 COVID-19 cases. Saudi Arabia has 22,693 active cases.

The highest number of new cases today were distributed between Jeddah with 245 cases, Makkah with 221, Jubail 156 and Dammam with 150.

Of the new cases, 93 percent are adults, 5 percent children and 2 percent are above the age of 65.

The Health Ministry announced 369 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 4,134. Eight deaths were reported, raising the toll to 184.

Al-Aly said: “None of the treatment protocols currently in use have proven successful yet in treating patients and directly targeting the virus.”

The latest fatalities included two Saudis in Dammam and Jeddah, while the rest were expats between Makkah, Riyadh and Madinah. They were aged between 32 and 84, most of them had chronic health conditions.

Al-Aly thanked the establishments and individuals who made donations to the Health Endowment Fund established by the ministry.

Donations to the fund since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis have exceeded one billion Saudi Riyals ($266 million).

1552 new cases as of Sunday

• 19% Saudis81% expats
• 19% female
• 84% male
• 5% children
• 27,011 total
• 22,693 active
• 139 critical
4,134  total recoveries


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