Hajj pilgrims get clean bill of health

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Muslim worshippers watch as others circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah on August 17, 2018 prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. (AFP)
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Muslim worshippers circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah on August 17, 2018 prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. (AFP)
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Muslim pilgrims pray at the Mount Al-Noor, where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Holy Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, ahead of annual hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia August 18, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Muslim worshippers circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah on August 17, 2018 prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. (AFP)
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Muslim pilgrims pray while they the Mount Al-Noor, where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Holy Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, ahead of annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, August 18, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Muslim pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque, ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP)
Updated 19 August 2018

Hajj pilgrims get clean bill of health

  • 50% of pilgrims are headed directly to Madinah and 50% are headed to Makkah and will visit Madinah after Hajj season

JEDDAH: Pilgrims at this year’s Hajj have been given a clean bill of health by Saudi authorities who confirmed on Saturday that no cases of epidemic or quarantine disease have been reported.
The Ministry of Health said that 1,647,351 pilgrims were provided with preventive services through health outlets from the first of the month of Dul Qadah until Saturday.
The general rate of commitment among the pilgrims to take preventive vaccines stood at about 80 percent for meningitis, 96.3 percent for yellow fever and 87.5 percent for polio, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, the ministry also provided emergency services in Makkah and Madinah hospitals to 280,773 pilgrims, bringing to 17,820 the number of visits to clinics, while medical centers treated 246,156 outpatients.
The number of cases hospitalized was 1,651, with nine births recorded.


Number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia could hit 200,000, says health minister

Updated 15 min 24 sec ago

Number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia could hit 200,000, says health minister

  • Minister added it was vital the public cooperated with the government’s instructions and precautionary measures

RIYADH: The number of COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia could reach up to 200,000 within a few weeks, according to the Kingdom’s health minister.

Citing four Saudi and international studies on Tuesday, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said the case figure is likely to see a constant increase rather than a decrease, Saudi Press Agency reported.

"Within the next few weeks, studies predict the number of infections will range from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000," Al-Rabiah said.

The minister added it was vital the public cooperated with the government’s instructions and precautionary measures to limit the number of infections.

“There is no doubt that our commitment to the instructions and procedures, in its entirety reduces the number of cases to the minimum, while non-compliance will lead to a huge increase in the number of cases,” he said.

“We stand today at a decisive moment as a society in raising our sense of responsibility and contributing together with determination to stop the spread of this pandemic,”

Many people were not taking the dangers of the pandemic seriously enough, according to the health minister, adding that the Kingdom had death with the crisis with full “transparency and clarity.”

The Saudi health ministry also announced on Tuesday that there were a total of 2,795 confirmed cases and the death toll from the virus in the Kingdom had reached 41.

A 24-hour curfew and lockdown has been imposed in the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Hofuf and in the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Last week, King Salman issued a decree which ordered treatment to be available for anyone in need of medical care, including people who have overstayed their visa in the Kingdom.