Saudi Arabia’s Hajj agencies ‘ready to serve over 2m pilgrims’

Updated 30 August 2017
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Saudi Arabia’s Hajj agencies ‘ready to serve over 2m pilgrims’

MINA: Agencies involved in Hajj preparations are ready to serve more than 2 million pilgrims, a senior Saudi official said.
Pilgrims have arrived in preparation for the “Day of Tarwiyah,” which falls today, said Interior Ministry Spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki.
He said the Hajj plan would serve over 2 million pilgrims, including 1,747,440 who have already arrived from abroad and another 200,000 from inside Saudi Arabia, including citizens and residents.
Al-Turki stressed the efforts made at the entrance to the holy sites to detect any violations of Hajj regulations. He said more than 400,000 people have been turned away for lacking Hajj permits.
A total of 208,236 cars driven by those without the correct permits were turned away, while another 3,296 vehicles were seized at the entrances to Makkah, officials said.
Hatim bin Hassan Qadi, adviser to the minister of Hajj, announced the completion of the first phase of the pilgrim-receiving plan through the entry points in Makkah and Madinah.
He said 19,500 buses transported pilgrims from Madinah to Makkah while another 38,000 buses transported pilgrims from other areas. Pilgrims will later be transported to Mina by 9,000 buses.
Qadi affirmed the readiness of camps in Mina to receive pilgrims and said that both public and private sectors are working to serve the pilgrims.
The Hajj plan also includes myriad medical facilities for pilgrims.
Ahmad bin Rayan Barayan, general supervisor of public relations and media at the Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA), said the facilities include 133 ambulance centers run by 78 physicians and specialists and 2,500 administrative employees and technicians.
He said there are 25 teams assigned for advanced response that will support field-ambulance teams, in addition to other ambulance teams.
There are four well-equipped air ambulances while 500 male and female volunteers will serve at the Grand Mosque and Arafat sites.
Health Ministry Spokesman Mishaal Al-Rabian announced the completion of the ministry’s preparations for the current Hajj season through the preparation of 25 hospitals and 155 medical centers at the holy sites. These are supported by 100 small ambulances working as mobile intensive-care units, which are capable of reaching crowded areas to attend to the injured.
Al-Rabian said 21 pilgrims who were earlier admitted to hospitals in Madinah were on Tuesday transferred to Arafat General Hospital to allow them perform the Arafat Day ritual.
He said the ministry prepared more than 285 special rooms to receive cases of heat stress and sunstroke, while medial teams carried out free-of-charge operations including open heart procedures, cardiac catheterization, dialysis and other medical services.
Civil Defense Spokesman Col. Abdullah Al-Harthi said the first phase of the emergency plan of the current Hajj season had been completed without any incident that could have adversely affected the safety of pilgrims.
He said the number of agencies involved in the emergency plan had increased from 19 to 32, with five mock incidents carried out to prepare them.


King Salman welcomes Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Jeddah

Updated 23 min 30 sec ago
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King Salman welcomes Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met with King Salman on Wednesday as part of his first state visit overseas.

During the talks, they reviewed the close relations between their two countries, the prospects for their development and strengthening in various fields, as well as the latest regional developments, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The meeting was attended by Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Advisor to the King, Prince of Makkah Region, Prince Mansour bin Mteb bin Abdulaziz and a number of other officials from both countries.

Khan arrived in the Kingdom on Tuesday for a visit expected to focus on bilateral ties, regional security and Pakistan's economic situation.

Earlier, the prime minister was received by the King at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah before the a luncheon was held in his honor.

He then met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who congratulated him on his election as prime minister.

"They reviewed the historical relations between the two brotherly countries and ways to enhance them," SPA said.

 

In an interview with Al Arabiya aired on Wednesday, Khan said Pakistan would always stand by Saudi Arabia, and that anyone who comes into power in the country would visit the Kingdom first.

“Saudi Arabia came to Pakistan's aid when it needed it," Khan said. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Khan performed Umrah in Makkah.

He then held a series of meetings, including with the Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih on Wednesday.

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Khan received Al-Falih at his residence in Jeddah to discuss ways of cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

He also held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen

Khan, whose Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the July elections, is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other senior members of his cabinet.

On Tuesday, the former cricketer visited Madinah where he prayed at the Prophet's Mosque.