Saudi Arabia issues more than 7.65m visas for Umrah pilgrims

504,809 pilgrims still in the Kingdom. (SPA)
Updated 14 June 2019

Saudi Arabia issues more than 7.65m visas for Umrah pilgrims

  • 278,368 of the remaining pilgrims are in Makkah and 226,441 are in Madinah

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 7,650,736, of which 7,393,657 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.

There are 504,809 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 278,368 in Makkah and 226,441 in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Most pilgrims — 6,550,520 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 707,955 entered by land and 135,182 arrived by sea.

The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (1,657,777) followed by Indonesia (967,125), India (650,480), Egypt (539,045), Algeria (365,628), Yemen (338,618), Turkey (321,494), Malaysia (278,674), Iraq (277,571) and Jordan (216,165).

The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,945 Saudis including 9,065 males and 1,880 females.

Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.

Earlier, Hajj  Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin said: “The ministry aspires to develop Hajj and Umrah companies and provide a model for distinguished companies that not only seek to make a profit, but also compete with similar international services in the hospitality sector and enrich the pilgrims’ experience. The ministry is fully prepared to develop and support such a model.”

Over the next two years, Bentin said the ministry would like to see Umrah companies elevate the sector to unprecedented levels by raising the quality of the services they offered, especially in housing, transport and visits to historical sites.


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.