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LIVE – Coronavirus: latest news on COVID-19

Already more than 550,000 cases have been reported worldwide with more than 25,000 deaths... Described as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the spread of the coronavirus across the globe is dealing a severe blow to the global economy, while compromising access to culture and education for hundreds of millions of people. But everywhere in the world, solidarity and scientific initiatives are being put in place. An update on the situation...

 

Ongoing: Updated last on 21/04 at 12:00pm

20/04

Covid: Saudi Aramco gives out masks to Houston, Texas

The current health crisis is giving rise to numerous initiatives and acts of solidarity. This is the case, for example, in Houston, Texas (USA), where the Saudi national oil company Saudi Aramco has donated 30,000 KN95 sanitary masks.

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17/04

Saudi Arabia pledges to dedicate $500 million in the global fight against the virus

Saudi Arabia, the host to the latest series of virtual G20 meetings, has officially pledged to dedicate $500 million to support global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.

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16/04

G20 members halt debt payment for poorer nations

The G20 nations and their major economies just decided to temporarily halt debt payments for the world’s poorest nations in yesterday’s virtual meeting, as they try to navigate through the pandemic with the least amount of economic damage possible, especially for those in already disadvantaged positions. Saudi Arabia, the host for these online discussions, stands at the heart of these cooperative efforts, following their decision to cut back on their oil production to succor the global economy.

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15/04

Coronavirus: Dubai’s World Trade Center transformed into a field hospital

This is a strong symbol sent by the leaders of the emirate. The World Trade Center in Dubai, a building that is customarily used for the purpose of organizing congresses, conferences, and a multitude of other professional events, has been completely converted into the largest hospital in all of the Middle East.

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14/04

Coronavirus: Meat for the Needy in Mecca

As a consequence to the various preventive measures adopted to deal with Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia, many people find themselves isolated, without any resources. This is why solidarity initiatives must be developed, such as one in Mecca, where the governor has set up a food back, collecting and distributing meat to those in need.

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14/04

Young Arab Artists healing through art

Artwork, through either processes of creating or viewing it, has long been used to explore sensitive emotions and address difficult topics. This time around, as well all bathe in great uncertainty in the face of a virulent virus to which currently have no cure for, the new generation Arab artists are seeking to alleviate those fears and create awareness of COVID-19 through their art.

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10/04

Saudi Arabia and Russia agree on unprecedented oil production cut

In anticipation of the impending recession of the world economy, Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to a significant oil production cut. The decrement, of 5 million barrels each per day, will persist over the next two years, until April 2022, to make up for an all-time-low demand dictated by the infamous COVID-19.

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10/04

Abwaab, an educational online platform assisting Jordanian students during the Coronavirus lockdown

While the Covid-19 outbreak has placed the entire planet on hold, many governments are considering ways to preserve their students’ education; A godsend for some of the startups that have ventured into the market of online education.

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09/04

UAE and its flourishing coronavirus drive-through testing centers

The UAE continues to open drive-through testing centers at breakneck speed, granting residents the opportunity to get tested for the propagating coronavirus, while remaining in their safety of their cars. In only ten days, 13 centers have opened across the seven emirates.

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09/04

Yallafund, an NGO to help Lebanese startups in the midst of an economic crisis

The recent economic crisis followed the beginning of the Lebanese revolution last October, and now it is now the turn of the Covid-19 epidemic to damage the country’s economy. The situation significantly affects startups, causing some of them to go bankrupt. The new platform, Yallafund, serves as a lifeline for entrepreneurs through crowdfunding.

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08/04

Artificial intelligence keeping the virus at bay in the UAE

Artificial intelligence may be deemed superfluous at times, yet in today’s pressing circumstances, robots are reducing physical encounters are prioritizing human life. The United Arab Emirates continues to lead the way with its remotely navigated cutting-edge machines, now tackling vital tasks such as medical analyses, sterilization and sanitization, through both efficiency and safety.

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08/04

Khalifa University prints 3D respirators

In efforts to address the global shortage of medical equipment, notably respirators, the Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will start producing medical equipment through the cutting-edge 3D printing method.

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07/04

Syrian refugees feeding the needy in Switzerland

Shadi Shaddeh, a Syrian refugee residing in Switzerland, has mobilized a network of volunteers in Geneva and Lausanne to grocery shop and run errands for the elderly and the sick amidst the pandemic. The network, birthed from started from a series of Whatsapp messages between friends, is currently comprised of 26 volunteers, who have already shopped for a couple hundreds of people in need.

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07/04

Coronavirus: “In the Middle East, some states are less effective than others”

The coronavirus pandemic has already officially reached more than 1.3 million people worldwide, causing over 70,000 deaths thus far. Within the Middle East, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are the most affected countries. In the face of this health emergency, the States of the region are mobilizing resources. Dorothée Schmid, researcher and head of the Middle East program at the French Institute of International Relations, takes stock of the situation.

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07/04

Ramadan 2020: Preparations disrupted?

The month of Ramadan, the holiest period in the Muslim world, is generally a very festive and unifying period. But in these times of pandemic, it gets difficult to plan and prepare for it…

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06/04

Tunisia: RoboCop enforcing confinement

Robots are now patrolling Tunisian streets to help enforce the nationwide lockdown measures to flatten the steep curb of Covid-19. The maghrebin nation has been under night-time curfew since the 17th of March, with authorities imposing increasingly stricter, and now more innovative, lockdown orders.

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03/04

Mawid, the Saudi app to self diagnose Covid-19

The Saudi Health Ministry has created a specialized self-diagnosis feature through their smartphone app, Mawid, in response to the multiplying coronavirus. This consultation service remains entirely free and has successfully assessed around 250,000 Saudis thus far.

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02/04

Hajj cancellations through time

For the first time since the creation of Saudi Arabia, the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca is likely to be cancelled, in reaction to the budding virus. However unsettling, this act is certainly not unprecedented. The Muslims’ major pilgrimage has been forcefully halted throughout the centuries due to conflict and disease.

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02/04

Quarantine: The #StayAtHome Challenge for young Berbers

A group of young Berbers, or “Imazighen”, have taken the stage on social networks as part of a #StayAtHome challenge…

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01/04

The young Saudi doctors working against COVID-19 in French hospitals

Saudi doctors, currently practicing in France, initially left the kingdom to conduct medicals internships and specialization programs, now choosing to join the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 in the country’s overloaded hospitals. There are about 50 of them, holding qualifications in differing fields of medicine but all linked with the common desire to aid their host country and its people.

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31/03

Saudi Arabia to finance treatment of all COVID-19 cases in the kingdom

The Saudi Arabian government announced that it will pay for the expenses of medical treatments for all citizens and residents diagnosed with COVID-19, even those in violation of residency and visa laws. King Salman aims to encourage all those with symptoms to get tested and treated, in order to curb the spread of the virus, releasing them of potential financial burdens and prioritizing health.

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30/03

Citizens of Arab countries choosing to counteract the pandemic through acts of kindness

The worst of crises requires the best out of us. Luckily, citizens throughout Middle Eastern nations are taking it upon themselves to take care of their communities, especially the more vulnerable, despite being faced with fear and uncertainty themselves.

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27/03

Coronavirus: In Tunisia, these workers are confined inside the factory

The Consomed factory in Khairouan, central Tunisia, made the decision to maintain its production rate despite the lockdown. To do so, 150 employees have confined themselves to the company’s own premises, with enough to live in near autarky for one month.

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27/03

Labour unions in the Arab world mobilize against COVID-19

In this time of health crisis more than ever, workers feel the urgent need to unite to fight for fair treatment. Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), workers’ associations are mobilizing to inform their fellow workers about their rights, providing them with resources to preserve themselves and protect their families in the devastating context of COVID-19.

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26/03

Dubai Expo 2020 maintained?

It may be hard to believe with the times we are going through, but in the near future we will probably have overcome this pandemic. A crisis which, despite its destructive nature, brings us all together in our vulnerability. The six-month Dubai 2020 exhibition, planned for October, is on schedule and, hopefully, will serve as a platform for people around the world to come together and plan for a more sustainable future.

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25/03

Art Dubai Adapts

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic does not seem to want to settle for an already devastating human toll. Culturally, the virus has simply decimated the international agenda, causing the cancellation of many concerts, exhibitions, and other international events such as VivaTech. However, the Dubai International Art Fair is not laying down its arms. It simply chose to relocate… on the net!

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17/03

UAE cancels public prayers and sends aid to Iran

Public prayers in all places of worship are prohibited in the Emirates. In addition, in an attempt to contain COVID-19, the country has sent two rescue aircraft containing more than 32 tons of medical supplies, including thousands of gloves, surgical masks and protective equipment.

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16/03

UAE’s cutting-edge technology in the face of coronavirus

Amid global panic and several national quarantines, the seven emirates are turning to innovative technological initiatives to both contain the spread of the pandemic and ensure that their community living protocols continue to function at their best.

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16/03

To avoid confinement, Saudis head to the desert

Following the interruption of all international flights, and the closure of entertainment venues in the kingdom, inhabitants and residents see the wide open spaces of the desert as an escape from the sadness of a city at a standstill. The “Edge of the world” (Edge of the world) is meeting a growing demand.

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13/03

In the Middle East, education comes first

At a time when the new coronavirus pandemic – or COVID19 – is pushing governments around the world to take drastic measures, there is one institution that, above all others, is seeing its functioning called into question: schools. According to scientists, children and young people are indeed the populations that best spread the virus. But then, if it is obviously necessary to contain the spread of the disease, how can we ensure that our “dear blond heads” receive a quality education?

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12/03

Unusual images of deserted places in the Middle East

In these troubled times of pandemic due to the new coronavirus, or COVID19 , we are witnessing some unusual, if not out of the ordinary, scenes. Here are, in pictures, 5 emblematic places of the Arab world, such as you have probably never seen them!

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