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Saudi Aramco concerned over Gulf attacks, has capacity to meet demand – CEO

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Saudi Aramco is concerned at recent actions in the Gulf, but can meet its customers’ needs thanks to its experience and the availability of additional spare capacity, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

“What’s happening in the Gulf is definitely a concern,” Amin Nasser, president and chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant, told Reuters in an interview.

“At the same time we went through a number of crises in the past … we’ve always met our customer commitments and we do have flexibility and the system availability in terms of available additional spare capacity.”

Recent tanker attacks in the Gulf have raised fears about safety of one of the world’s key shipping routes and pushed up oil prices.

Nasser, who is in Seoul ahead of a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said Aramco has no plan to increase its current maximum output capacity of 12 million barrels per day (bpd), given sizeable spare capacity.

“If you look at our production, it is hovering around 10 million barrels per day so we do have additional spare capacity,” he said.

The oil giant is aiming to become a major global gas player, and has been developing its own gas resources as well as eyeing gas assets in the United States, Russia, Australia and Africa.

Nasser said Aramco was in talks to buy a stake in Russian gas company Novatek’s Arctic LNG-2 project, while exploring other investment opportunities in gas.

He confirmed the company is also in discussions about buying a stake in India’s Reliance Industries and in talks with other Asian companies about investments.

“We will continue to explore opportunities in different markets and different companies, and these things take time,” he said.

Nasser said the company, South Korea’s top oil supplier, was looking to increase its crude oil supplies to the country where it had partnerships and investments with South Korean refiners.

Foreign

Saudi Arabia to pump 13.3 bln USD into banking system

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Saudi Arabia announced on Monday the pumping of 50 billion riyals (13.3 billion United States dollars) into the banking system, the Arabiya TV reported.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority’s (SAMA) decision comes to manage the fallout from the coronavirus and the drop in oil prices.

The amount will boost credit facilities to the private sector, help banks amend restructure loans without additional fees and support private sector employment.

SAMA had previously unveiled a 50-billion-riyal program to help mostly small private businesses in the country.

Saudi Arabia has been taking solid steps to reduce the economic implications of the spread of coronavirus, including reducing state expenditures and increasing the percentage of the value-added tax (VAT) from 5 to 15 percent.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 cases increase to 81,766

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Saudi Arabia‘s COVID-19 cases increased on Friday to 81,766 with the registration of 1,581 new infections.

The kingdom also reported 17 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 458, the health ministry tweeted.

The tally of recoveries stood at 57,013 after 2,460 more patients recovered.

Saudi Arabia has taken gradual steps to ease precautionary measures against the virus to bring life back to normal.

The steps include reducing the daily hours of curfews and opening mosques and workplaces.

Saudi Arabia and China have supported each other in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-February, the kingdom offered generous support to China to help fight the deadly virus at the early stage of its outbreak.

As the virus raged in Saudi Arabia, a team of eight Chinese medical experts visited the kingdom on April 15 to assist its anti-coronavirus fight.

On April 26, the two sides signed a deal worth 265 million U.S. dollars for expanding Saudi Arabia‘s coronavirus testing capacity.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Saudi-led coalition intercepts drones launched towards border city

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Saudi-led coalition involved in a war in Yemen intercepted on Wednesday drones launched towards border city Najran.

The coalition spokesperson Turki Al Maliki accused Houthi militia of continuing to target civilians and residential areas with drones, Saudi Press Agency reported.

He added that the drone attacks were a form of rejection of the cease-fire initiative taken by the coalition that was enforced on April 9.

(XINHUA)

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Saudi Arabia registers 1,815 new COVID-19 cases

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Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday the registration of 1,815 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 78,541 in the kingdom.

The Saudi health ministry also reported 14 more deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 425.

It added 2,572 more patients have recovered, and the tally of recoveries hit 51,022.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has announced the extending of tourist visas automatically for three months free of charge for those stranded in the kingdom whose visas expired during the period of suspension of international flights.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: Turkey’s COVID-19 cases near 160,000, as Saudi Arabia announces 3-phase plan to ease anti-coronavirus restrictions

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Turkey’s COVID-19 cases on Tuesday rose to 158,762, amid a continued slowdown in the pandemic, while Saudi Arabia announced a three-phase plan to gradually ease the anti-coronavirus restrictions.

Turkey, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, confirmed 948 new COVID-19 cases and 28 more deaths, as the death toll climbed to 4,397.

On the same day, 1,492 patients recovered from the disease in Turkey, raising the total recoveries to 121,507.

Amid the slowdown in the pandemic, Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul disinfected mosques to make them ready for reopening on Friday as part of the normalization process.

Iran reported 1,787 new cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the total number of cases to 139,511. The death roll in Iran, the highest in the region, rose to 7,508 after 57 deaths were added in the past 24 hours.

Saudi Arabia reported 1,931 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number in the kingdom to 76,726. The death toll from the deadly respiratory virus increased by 12 to 411, while the number of recoveries rose by 2,782 to 48,450.

Despite the continued rise in coronavirus infections, Saudi Arabia announced a plan to gradually lift the anti-coronavirus measures in three phases.

After the first phase, lasting from May 28 to 30, and the second phase, lasting from May 31 to June 20, all the restrictions and curfews will be lifted except for the holy city of Mecca, during the third phase starting June 21.

Qatar announced 1,742 new COVID-19 cases, raising the tally of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 47,207, including 118,44 recoveries and 28 deaths.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 779 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 31,086.

The total recoveries from the disease in the UAE rose to 15,982 after 325 more patients recovered, and the death roll climbed to 253 after five more fatalities were added.

Egypt reported a record 789 daily new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number in the country to 18,756. This was the eighth consecutive day for Egypt’s daily infections to exceed 700.

Meanwhile, 14 patients died from the coronavirus, bringing the death toll in Egypt to 797, while 127 more patients were completely cured, raising the recoveries to 5,027.

Kuwait reported 608 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 22,575 and the death toll to 172.

Oman’s health ministry announced 348 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 8,118.

A total of 45 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Morocco on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 7,577, including 202 deaths and 4,881 recoveries.

Syria reported 15 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 121, including four deaths and 41 recoveries, the Syrian health ministry said.

Israel’s health ministry reported 23 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number in Israel to 16,757.

This is the highest single-day rise in the COVID-19 cases since May 18, when 26 new cases were detected in Israel. No new death from the coronavirus was reported.

In Palestine, life in the West Bank returned to normal after the Palestinian government lifted most of the precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

In the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run ministry of health reported three new cases of COVID-19, taking the total cases in the area to 58.

Lebanon’s number of COVID-19 infections increased on Tuesday by 21 cases to 1,140 while the death toll remained at 26.

The Lebanese interior ministry issued a decision imposing a fine of 50,000 Lebanese pounds (33 U.S. dollars) on citizens who do not use masks during their daily transportation.

After a lockdown of more than two months, Tunisia, which reported no new COVID-19 case on Tuesday, conditionally reopened cafes and restaurants as part of its partial lifting of the anti-coronavirus restrictions.

On Monday, the 35th Chinese medical team in Sudan held a video conference with Sudanese medical workers on sharing experiences in preventing and treating the coronavirus.

The event was also attended by Amged Abdelmgeed, head of bilateral and multilateral relations of Sudan’s Ministry of Health, who thanked the Chinese government, the Chinese embassy in Sudan and the Chinese medical team for their help and support during the pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Saudi Arabia announces plan to lift anti-coronavirus measures in 3 phases

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Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday its plan to lift the anti-coronavirus measures in three phases, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

In the first phase from May 28 to 30, travel between cities and regions, with the exception of Mecca, will be permitted during the curfew hours from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m., while retail and wholesale shops and malls will be allowed to open, according to a statement by the interior ministry carried by the SPA.

For the second phase from May 31 to June 20, the curfew across the kingdom except for Mecca will be eased to from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., while all mosques will reopen for all congregational prayers, also with the exception of Mecca.

Domestic flights will be resumed in the second phase.

Starting June 21, the third phase will see all curfews lifted across the kingdom except Mecca.

As for the holy city of Mecca, the first-phase easing will be carried out between May 31 to June 20 and the second will begin on June 21.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry said the decisions are subjected to assessment and periodic review by the health ministry.

Saudi Arabia reported 1,931 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number in the kingdom to 76,726, the health ministry tweeted.

The the death toll from the virus increased by 12 to 411, while 2,782 new recoveries were added, bringing the total recoveries to 48,450.

(XINHUA)

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Saudi Arabia announces gradual ease of anti-coronavirus precautions

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Saudi Arabia announced on Monday the gradual ease of precautionary measures against the COVID-19, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The gradual steps, with social distancing regulations obeyed, will start from Thursday and expand until the situation is back to normal, the SPA quoted Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah as saying.

The easing will be based on medical reports of the spread of the virus, Rabiah added.

Saudi Arabia has controlled the spread of the virus through early precautionary measures, especially maintaining a low death rate, he noted.

The health ministry announced on Monday 2,235 new coronavirus cases, raising the number of infections to 74,795.

The death toll rose to 399 after nine fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours, while the recoveries reached 45,668.

On April 15, a team of eight Chinese medical experts visited the kingdom to assist its anti-coronavirus fight.

(XINHUA)

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Saudi Arabia registers 2,399 new coronavirus cases, 72,560 in total

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Saudi Arabia registered on Sunday 2,399 new coronavirus cases, increasing the total number of infections to 72,560.

The death toll increased to 390 with 11 new fatalities, the health ministry tweeted.

The overall recovered cases increased to 43,520 with 2,284 new recoveries, it said.

Saudi Arabia enforces a 24-hour nationwide lockdown during the Eid al-Fitr holiday from May 23 to 27 as part of the precautionary measures against coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

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Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 cases surpass 70,000

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Saudi Arabia’s coronavirus cases surpass on Saturday 70,000 infections, the Health Ministry tweeted.

Riyadh remained the city of the highest daily cases of 794 among the total new 2,442 infections. The total number of confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia reached 70,161.

The kingdom’s death toll rose to 379, with 15 new fatalities.

The recovered cases increased to 41,236, with the new 2,233 recoveries.

The ministry has announced the introduction of smart bracelets for citizens who returned from aboard and who are in home isolation. The bracelets are to ensure that the cases are committed to the safety instructions and staying at home.

(XINHUA)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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