Saudi Arabia pledges $500 million to combat coronavirus

Saudi Arabia pledges $500 million to combat coronavirus
Saudi Arabia pledges $500 million to combat coronavirus

 Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the G20 presidency, has pledged $500 million to support global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.

The Kingdom will allocate $150 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation, $150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, and $200 million to other international and regional health organizations and programs.

It also called on all countries, non-governmental organizations, philanthropies and the private sector to help close a financing gap estimated at over $8 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saudi Arabia announced a fine of up to SR1 million ($266,119) for traders attempting commercial fraud.

The government encouraged the public to continue reporting cases of commercial fraud, with rewards of up to 25 percent of the paid fine. 

A total of 518 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Kingdom on Thursday, bringing the total number in Saudi Arabia to 6,380 people. There are now 5,307 active cases with 71 in critical care.

Fifty-nine new recovered cases have taken the total number of recoveries to 990, while four new deaths have raised  the death toll to 83 in Saudi Arabia.

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman inspected newly built housing facilities for expat workers. He said: "Migrant workers are our guests and their well being and safety is our responsibility." 

He added: "Our religion urges us to treat all workers compassionately. And as such, we refuse to have workers exposed to any kind of physical or psychological harm."

The economic damage, meanwhile, escalated around the world.

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