Half of pilgrims unaware of MERS

A Muslim pilgrim wears a mask as she walks to Makkah's Grand Mosque to perform evening prayers, in this October 8, 2013 file photo, prior to the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage. (AFP)
Updated 04 September 2016
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Half of pilgrims unaware of MERS

JEDDAH: A 33-country study about “Pilgrim Awareness of Corona (MERS) Virus,” conducted during the last Haj season, revealed that about half of the pilgrims were unaware of the virus and prevention methods.
The study, carried out by the ENT and infection control departments at Kingdom Abdullah Medical City and Umm Al-Qura University, involved distribution of questionnaires about the virus to pilgrims during the Haj season in 2016 in English, French, Urdu, Indonesian, Turkish, and Malaysian.
The study confirmed the lack of accurate information about the disease among pilgrims, and general lack of awareness, noting the need for effective awareness programs and improved teaching methods about health issues during the Haj season.
MERS is a source of concern for the World Health Organization, with the majority of cases emerging from Arab Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia. This indicates the serious risk of the virus spreading during the pilgrimage.
Considering the virus’ source remains unknown, and with no vaccination, it represents a great danger during the pilgrimage season, which is one of the largest annual gatherings in the world. This requires enhanced preventive measures to reduce the spread of the disease among the pilgrims coming from around the world.
The aim of the Saudi study was to assess the awareness of pilgrims of the corona virus, and their responses toward protective standards in dealing with it. The study confirmed that knowledge and awareness is essential and will certainly contribute to the development and improvement of health awareness programs for pilgrims in the future.


Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

Updated 18 June 2019
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Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

JEDDAH: The Jeddah Season festival has provided a wide range of seasonal employment opportunities for young Saudi men and women, helping them gain experience and prepare them to enter the job market.

More than 5,000 young Saudis are working around the clock, each in his or her field, to manage the festival’s activities.

The festival aims to highlight development opportunities in Saudi Arabia, introduce the Kingdom as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, support the government’s efforts to empower Saudi youths, support local small and medium enterprises, develop Jeddah’s tourism sector and provide volunteer opportunities.

Jeddah Season, which began on June 8 and runs until July 18, has attracted thousands of visitors of all ages through its 150 local and international events and activities.

It is being held at five sites: King Abdullah Sports City, Al-Hamra Corniche, the Jeddah Waterfront, Obhur and Historic Jeddah (Al-Balad), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jeddah Season offers a wide range of tourism, entertainment and cultural events and activities, and sheds light on the city’s status as the Kingdom’s tourism capital. Most of its events are being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah Season is in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to advance the welfare of Saudi society, diversify local development opportunities, improve the Kingdom’s contribution to arts and culture, and create job opportunities for Saudi youths.