Expats guard against coronavirus

Updated 28 April 2014
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Expats guard against coronavirus

Indian and Sri Lankan missions have launched extensive awareness campaigns and alerts among their nationals about the rapidly spreading Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Sri Lanka has alerted its missions in the Middle East to take precautionary measures among its expatriates in the region.
Mangala Randeniya, spokesman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), told Arab News from Colombo that the bureau has alerted all its overseas missions about the deadly virus.
“Even though not a single Sri Lankan has been affected so far, we, as a government, are tasked with alerting our overseas workers,” Randeniya said.
There are 1.5 million Sri Lankans living in the Middle East and nearly one third of them are in the Kingdom, he said.
“Colombo International Airport has been alerted to take note of any arriving passenger suspected to be infected with the coronavirus,” he said. “Our SLBFE desk at the airport will identify such incoming passengers and provide them with immediate medical treatment.”
Paba Palihawadana, chief epidemiologist at the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit, said the authorities have put in place a mechanism to create awareness among community members. “There are educational programs conducted through the Bureau of Foreign Employment, travel agencies and Sri Lankan embassies to ensure that travelers and workers to the region are aware of the risks,” she said.
The Indian Social Forum in Jeddah (ISFJ) has launched a coronavirus awareness campaign to raise public understanding about the virus among its nationals. The forum organized a series of camps in Jeddah and other parts of Western Province with the support of the Ministry of Health.
Acting Indian Consul General Mohammed Shaikh inaugurated the campaign on Friday.
Muneera Balahmar, director of health education and community medicine consultant at the Health Ministry, gave a detailed overview about the virus and ways to prevent its spread.
Forum President Ashraf Morayur said the campaign would focus on areas of large gatherings in Jeddah, a port of arrival for thousands of pilgrims.


Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 min 58 sec ago
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Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

  • Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival
  • Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year

JEDDAH:  Jamarat facilities in Mina are fully prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims during the throwing of stones.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has deployed sunshades, cooling systems, escalators, closed-circuit TV, guidance and awareness-raising signboards and facilities, and information services.

The ministry’s projects include the installation of fixed and mobile cameras along the paths leading to the holy sites to monitor and manage pedestrian movement.

Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival.

 

Amenities

Many organizations and entities have provided amenities to help pilgrims on Arafat. Umbrellas have been distributed to provide shade and avoid heat stroke, cold water has been provided to quench pilgrims’ thirst, and food and beverages have been handed out. 

Holy Qur’ans have also been distributed to help pilgrims perform an Islamic ritual that abolishes worshippers’ sins.

Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year.

 

Live broadcast

The Media Ministry has launched a live broadcast of Hajj rituals on social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, as well as on YouTube.

The ministry has provided 19 channels transmitting in Arabic, English, Urdu, Malay, French and German.

 

Free internet

Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) has announced it will provide 1GB free for every pilgrim who uses its prepaid services as a gift to pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season. The gift is aimed at facilitating their experience during Hajj on the day of Tarwiya and Arafat.

STC chairman, Nasser bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, explained that the company’s gift came as a result of instructions from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to all governmental and private bodies related to the service of pilgrims.

 

Educate pilgrims

Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said the ministry has launched an awareness campaign in six languages — Arabic, English, French, Russian, Chinese and Persian — to educate pilgrims on Hajj regulations, provide them with health advice, and help them follow schedules in order to avoid overcrowding.

The ministry has launched the Manasikana smartphone app to provide pilgrims with services in eight languages, Mashat added.

The app informs pilgrims of grouping and transport plans, helps them find camps, lodgings and companions, and enables them to send reports and complaints to concerned authorities at the ministry.