Friday 22 January 2021

Saudi Arabia makes elaborate plans for safe Hajj

RIYADH, June 23, 2020

Saudi Arabia has made extraordinary executive plans to organise the Hajj this year taking into account the medical requirements in view of the Covid-19 situation around the world, said Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr Mohammad bin Saleh Benten.
He was speaking during a virtual joint press conference held with the Minister of Health Dr Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, said a Saudi Press Agency reported.
Saudi Arabia had announced yesterday that a very limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia would be allowed to perform Hajj this year. This will mean that international visitors will not be able to make the  pilgrimage due to the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
The plans announced today will include isolation of pilgrims before and after they perform Hajj, providing a healthy environment, and the space required for a safe distance in pilgrims’ residence and in the holy sites.
The plans also include specific routes for pilgrims to the Grand Holy Mosque to ensure adherence to health regulations set by the Ministry of Health.
The minister said the Saudi government is honoured to serve millions of pilgrims annually and the decision to allow only a limited number of pilgirms this year stems from the top priority Saudi Arabia accords to maintaining the safety of pilgrims.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Al-Rabiah said Saudi Arabia has developed a health plan and strict procedures to follow by pilgrims this year, beginning before they reach the holy sites, where they will be tested to ensure that they are not infected with the virus. All those serving pilgrims such as health professionals, security personnel and workers in the holy sites will also be tested. Pilgrims also must be less than 65 years old and should not have chronic diseases and they will home quarantined after the end of Hajj, he said.


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