Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi MoH: Health Status of Pilgrims Is Reassuring | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Muslim pilgrims wearing protective masks walk towards Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat outside the holy city of Makkah. PHOTO: REUTERS

Makkah– 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.

In a statement issued on Sunday, 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.

So far this month, Health Ministry hospitals in Makkah and Madinah performed 277 cardiac catheterizations, 11 open heart surgeries, 1049 renal dialysis and 54 endoscopic procedures.

The ministry also reported that the number of pilgrims who went to emergency rooms reached 15,242 while 23321 pilgrims attended clinics for medical reviews.

On field medical facilities this year there are 100 ambulance cars that operate as mobile intensive care units in addition to 80 large mobile ambulance centers. The ministry has also placed 29,000 medical practitioners of various medical, administrative, and technical fields to work round the clock at the pilgrimage sites this year.

The ministry provides specialized services to pilgrims free of charge every Hajj season to all pilgrims.

In related news, Director General of Civil Defense Lt. Gen. Sulaiman al-Amr reiterated that the Saudi Civil Defense is fully prepared to attend to this year’s hajj season and serve the pilgrims.

Speaking at a meeting for the Civil Defense volunteers at Oum al-Qura University, Amr said that all participants are ready to serve the pilgrims. He reiterated that training will continue especially with the new machinery the Civil Defense received, adding that the volunteers and workers were trained on all aspects in an attempt to lessen accidents.

The Director General expressed his full trust in the Civil Defense workers to attend to any incident or accident that may occur, adding that they portray the true image of civil defense.

Civil Defense Forces Major General Hamad Al-Mubadal mentioned that Hajj requests full readiness from all the Civil Defense staff.

Meanwhile, Security Forces Commander Lt. General Khalid al-Harbi toured the Command and Control Center of Hajj security and reviewed the security measures in the holy sites.

In addition, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs collaborated with local administrations and completed all the measures needed to fight dengue fever.

The Executive director of the Program for Umrah and Visit, Abdullah al-Medlej, welcomed Qatari pilgrims attending this year’s hajj within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques guest program.

Medlej reiterated that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance wants to provide all spiritual atmosphere for them to perform their religious duties easily and smoothly.

So far, 1300 pilgrims of 80 different countries have arrived in Saudi Arabia to attend this year’s Hajj season as part of Custodian’s guest program.