NEOM – Saudi Arabia was ranked first in the Arab World for issuing scientific papers on the coronavirus, the government heard on Tuesday.
King Salman chaired a virtual session of the cabinet which reviewed various aspects related to the fight against the spread of the virus.
The Kingdom ranked 25th globally and 2nd in the Middle East for clinical research and studies on the virus, the cabinet was told.
The Kingdom reported 385 cases of COVID-19 Monday and 16 deaths. A total of 5,217 people have dies in Saudi Arabia of the disease.
The ministers were also update on the progress of the second phase of the gradual easing of restrictions for Umrah Pilgrimages and prayers within Al- Rawdah Al-Sharih (the area between Prophet Muhammad’s grave and his pulpit) for citizens and expatriates from inside the Kingdom.
The phase will allow up to 15,000 Umrah performance and 40,000 worshipers or about 75 percent of the capacity in consideration of health protocols to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
The first phase had allowed those within the Kingdom to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30 percent from Oct.4, equivalent to 6,000 pilgrims per day.
The ministers also addressed the final communiqué of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governors Meeting which reaffirmed determination to continue to use all available policy tools to aid with the recovery from the pandemic.
Separately, the cabinet welcomed the King’s restructuring on Sunday of the Council of Senior Scholars, Shoura Council and Supreme Court.
The decrees appointed 20 people to the Council of Senior Scholars, the Kingdom’s highest religious body.
The cabinet also reviewed the strategic dialogue between the Kingdom and the U.S.
The meeting focused on strategic issues, including combating extremism and terrorism, and confronting Iran’s destabilizing and threatening attitude in the Middle East and disrupting global trade, the Saudi Press Agency reported.