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Assess and triage (resilience phase)

The KSA has suffered 98 deaths per million inhabitants, ranking it the 41st hardest hit country in the world out of 150 countries recorded as of 16 August.¹

Central Appointment System⁴

  • The Central Appointment System (Mawid) is an e-service provided by the Ministry of Health, enabling patients to book, cancel or reschedule their appointments at primary health care centers, as well as manage referrals.
  • Mawid centralizes and automates referrals by linking them electronically.
  • Acknowledging that digital penetration varies, Mawid integrates a smartphone app, web portal, call center and face-to-face services at various health centers in the KSA.

Stabilize and emerge (recovery phase)

Reopening the economy:²

  • On 5 July, a royal decree extended the validity of visit visas and expired residency, as well as exit and entry visas for expats, for an additional period of three months to enable expats outside the country to delay their return.
  • On 1 July, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced it will offer 94 agricultural investment opportunities to the private sector in the near term.
  • On 2 July, authorities announced the extension of private sector (Covid-19-related) support measures due to expire at the end of June. This included continuing payment of wage benefits to Saudis working in the private sector through SANED, and further delayed the payment of some taxes and duties.
  • On 14 July, the Ministry of Finance launched an SAR 670 million program to help businesses defer loan payments due this year.

Drone monitoring solutions:³

  • The KSA has begun using drones to monitor and ensure that precautionary measures are being implemented.
  • The initiative is part of a thermal survey which is being used to monitor the temperature of citizens, residents, workers and shoppers.

Haji pilgrimage:⁵

  • Whereas millions usually attend, this year just a thousand were given permits. All visitors were quarantined before arrival.
  • Approximately 1,000 international visitors from 160 countries attended Hajj.
  • All attendees underwent a seven-day quarantine before their pilgrimage and a second quarantine at the end.
  • Hefty fines and possible jail time were levied against anyone trying to attend without a permit.

Adapt and rethink (new reality)

Extension of Ministry of Finance ‘Etimad’ platform:⁶

  • On 14 July, the Ministry of Finance launched 12 Etimad products serving beneficiaries from the public and private sectors.
  • Services include budgeting for government entities, a marketplace for open transactions between public and private sectors, a financial claims service, government access to indices and other financial intelligence and an e-auction service.

National Education Portal:⁷

  • iEN is a portal that supports digital empowerment in education and enriches digital content for teachers. It brings technology into the learning process and curriculum.
  • The portal provides e-educational services to students, teachers, educational leaders, supervisors and parents.

5G network expansion:⁸

  • Zain KSA announced the expansion of its 5G network to cover all regions in the Kingdom, recently including Al-Jouf and the Northern Borders.
  • This expansion raises the company’s 5G network coverage to 30 cities throughout the KSA.
  • The expansion is expected to enhance the quality of the Saudi telecom sector and the sustainability of economic activity.

Continued investment in tourism:⁹

  • The KSA continues to make tourism a primary focus of its diversification agenda.
  • The Kingdom recently unveiled plans for an airport at the resort of Amaala—one of the first investments in the spotlight since the pandemic struck.
  • Neom, Qiddiya and the global Red Sea projects are expected to be key points of investment in the future, as well as a continued focus on local religious monuments.