Saudi Arabia ‘puts pilgrim safety first,’ says Hajj official

Saudi Arabia ‘puts pilgrim safety first,’ says Hajj official
Workers are using 54,000 liters of eco-friendly sanitization solution and 95 pieces of equipment for daily cleaning operations at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (SPA)
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Updated 24 July 2020

Saudi Arabia ‘puts pilgrim safety first,’ says Hajj official

Saudi Arabia ‘puts pilgrim safety first,’ says Hajj official
  • More than 3,500 workers are taking part in a major cleaning operation at the Grand Mosque in Makkah
  • The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques is overseeing the disinfection program as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to limit the outbreak

MAKKAH: Saudi preparations for Hajj are focusing on extensive health measures to limit the threat of coronavirus, according to a Hajj official.

“Maintenance team preparations and follow-up are being carried out on a daily basis to prepare for the season and to ensure that services in Makkah and at holy sites are at the highest state of readiness despite the small number of pilgrims this year,” Alaa Al-Nofaie, adviser to the chairman of the board of the Makkah Region Development Authority, told Arab News.

Abdulhamid Al-Maliki, assistant undersecretary for service affairs at the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, told Arab News that the urgent situation caused by the pandemic requires a united effort to help the government present a good image of the Kingdom in terms of security, health and services.

He said that vigorous efforts by the Presidency to combat COVID-19 will enable the Kingdom to meet any challenge.

Hajj personnel are ready to deal with the fast-spreading virus, especially among crowds, he added.

More than 3,500 workers are taking part in a major cleaning operation at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques is overseeing the disinfection program as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to limit the outbreak.

Workers are using 54,000 liters of eco-friendly sanitization solution and 95 pieces of equipment for daily cleaning operations at the holy site.

The mayor of Makkah, Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwaihis, told Arab News that COVID-19 case numbers are lower in the Kingdom compared with Western countries, which were late to enforce precautionary measures.

He said that inaction rapidly increased case numbers in the West and that the actions of Saudi authorities prevented the same crisis occurring in the Kingdom.

Fadhel Al-Buainain, an economist, said that despite the economic cost of suspending Umrah and reducing pilgrim numbers, the Kingdom has put the safety of Muslims first.

Meanwhile, the Guidance Affairs Agency headed by the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has launched an interactive platform for pilgrims during the Hajj season.

Part of the “We Are Proud to Serve the Pilgrims and Visitors” campaign, the platform includes all programs, Qur’an recitations, lessons, lectures and speeches.It can be visited at gph.gov.sa/images/gph_files/hajj8/Guidance_for_the%20month_of_Dhu_al-Hijjah.pdf