Jeddah- The number of Muslim pilgrims who have arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj duty now stands at 1.7 million (including 1,340 pilgrims from Qatar), the Saudi authorities said Monday.
“The number of pilgrims to have arrived to Saudi Arabia by air reached 1.6 million while 88,000 had arrived by land and another 14,000 by sea,” Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate for Passports reported.
Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar, deputy emir of Makkah region, checked Al-Shumaisi checkpoint and was informed of the security procedures and mechanisms to seize those who breach the regulations and to prevent them from entering.
Bin Bandar listened to an explanation on Al-Shumaisi checkpoint, where seven tracks are prepared to arrange the vehicles’ passage – it is considered the biggest checkpoint and it operates around the clock.
In a related context, 500 Palestinian pilgrims headed from the West Bank to Amman on Monday then to the holy sites to perform the Hajj duty at the expense of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who ordered to host 1,000 pilgrims from martyrs or captives’ families.
Saudi Ministry of Health announced that the health status of pilgrims is safe and reassuring and that neither epidemic nor quarantine diseases have been reported among them to date.
The ministry stated that it is focusing on the preventive aspects of pilgrims, following developments and changes in the health situation globally, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and international health bodies, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
It pointed out that many precautionary measures were taken including the issuance of medical conditions that all pilgrims arriving at Saudi Arabia should have.
Director General of Passports Maj. Gen. Sulaiman al-Yahya revealed that “The department has busted 64 forgery cases during the past days.” Yahya added that the passport department has prepared four seasonal checkpoints that work around the clock which are Al-Shumaisi, Al-Taneem, Al-Buhaita and Al-Kar.