Hajj season nears end with no COVID-19 at holy sites

Pilgrims pray at Jamarat after throwing stones at the symbolic Satan. (SPA)
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Updated 02 August 2020

Hajj season nears end with no COVID-19 at holy sites

  • Grand Mosque cleaned 10 times a day during the pandemic crisis

MAKKAH: Pilgrims returned to the Jamarat Bridge for the stoning ritual on Saturday, the fourth day of Hajj, as the season neared an end with no cases of COVID-19 at the holy sites.

The Saudi Health Ministry said the pilgrims’ health status was reassuring, and there had been no public health issues this season.

The Grand Mosque was sterilized and disinfected after pilgrims completed their Tawaf Al-Ifada ritual on the third day of Hajj. 

The mosque has been cleaned 10 times a day during the pandemic crisis.

Dr. Amani Al-Saadi, a health mentor taking part in Hajj this year, said the pilgrims’ health status was monitored from when they left their accommodation until they returned at the end of the day.

Each pilgrim had a designated seat on the Hajj buses to reduce contact with others, and there was a medical clinic at each residence complex, where doctors checked the pilgrims’ health and supplied any required medication.

Farida, an Indonesian pilgrim, was among those privileged to perform Hajj this year.

She said being selected was “unbelievable and priceless,” and expressed her happiness and gratitude at being able to perform the once-in-a-lifetime duty.

“This is like a blessing for me from Allah before I leave Saudi Arabia for good,” she said. “It was very well organized, I take my hat off to the Ministry of Hajj and Ministry of Health.”


Fahad Al-Azzam, assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Updated 14 August 2020

Fahad Al-Azzam, assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Fahad Al-Azzam has been the assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Ministry of Health since September 2019.
He has also been the general manager for enterprise at the ministry’s project management office since July 2016, where he developed and implemented a standard set of project management processes and models, and built the framework and updated it to account for developments and best practices.
It was announced on Monday that Al-Azzam’s role as assistant deputy minister for empowerment has been extended for another year.
Al-Azzam obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, in 2007. He studied abroad in the US, obtaining a master’s degree in engineering and technology management from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 2014.
Prior to his current position, Al-Azzam worked as a cooperative trainee at the Saudi Electricity Co. between May and October 2006.
At the Advanced Electronics Co., he worked as an assistant field service engineer between July 2007 and May 2009, and technical support and field service engineer between May 2009 and December 2010.
At the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, he worked as senior electrical engineer at their radiation safety department between January 2011 and February 2015.
He developed a safety program for exporting and importing electronics devices to and from Saudi Arabia and worked at controlling the risk resulting from the use of radiation-emitting devices. He also worked there as a project manager at their project management office between February 2015 and July 2016.