Saudi health minister: 96% of Kingdom’s coronavirus allocated ICU beds remain empty

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday affirmed that the Palestinian cause remains a “central issue” for Arabs and Muslims.

During a virtual meeting chaired by King Salman, ministers also reviewed the outcome of an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers, convened last week, that condemned plans by the Israeli authorities to annex Palestinian land.

As part of a unity government agreement between Likud and Blue and White, the Israeli parliament is expected in the coming months to vote on extending Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank.

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The Cabinet also reviewed the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis, including the precautions and preventive measures that have been taken by the Saudi authorities to limit the spread of the virus, and the care being provided to those who are infected. They were briefed on levels of preparedness, and plans to preserve public health and limit the effects of the pandemic.

Ministers also reviewed the findings of a study that identified coronavirus hot spots in the Kingdom, and traced the movements and contacts of patients to help prevent further outbreaks. In addition, they were updated on the efforts to help Saudi nationals in other countries who want to return to the Kingdom.

The Cabinet met via video link on Tuesday. (SPA)

Cabinet members praised the strenuous efforts being made by government agencies, committees and task forces to combat the pandemic and limit its effects, particularly on health.

After the meeting, acting Minister of Media Majed Al-Gasabi told the Saudi Press Agency that the cabinet also highlighted the Kingdom’s affirmation, during a recent virtual meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, of its commitment to the objectives and principles relating to the response to the pandemic. These include closer collaboration and transparency between all nations to enhance the global response to the health, economic and social repercussions of the crisis.

The Cabinet also reiterated the Kingdom’s condemnation of a terrorist attack in Sinai on April 30 that killed 10 Egyptian soldiers. Ministers affirmed Saudi Arabia’s solidarity with Egypt in its war on terrorism, and passed on their condolences and sympathy to the Egyptian government and people, and to the families of those who died.

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