JEDDAH: Worshippers suffering from chronic diseases were on Monday urged to postpone planned Umrah pilgrimages to the Grand Mosque in Makkah due to the increased risks to their health should they contract the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Saudi Ministry of Health officials said people with uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, cirrhosis, and coronary artery disease who had been admitted to hospital within the past six months, should put their visits on hold.
Those having attended hospital in the last 12 months for treatment related to cardiac insufficiency, immunodeficiency, and chronic chest diseases were also recommended to stay away for the time being, along with pregnant women.
The ministry’s advice came via an awareness infographic published on its Twitter page and Live Well platform.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, assistant minister of health and ministry spokesman, said the Kingdom had taken a pioneering role and made a major global contribution to clinical research and studies related to COVID-19 treatments.
Saudi Arabia ranks 25th in the world, second in the Middle East, and first among Arab countries for issuing scientific papers related to the virus, he added.
The Ministry of Health on Monday announced 348 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, meaning that 339,615 people had now contracted the disease. There were 8,708 active cases, and 842 patients were in a critical condition.
Of the new cases, 40 percent were women, 11 percent children, and 4 percent among the elderly.
The Kingdom also reported 25 new virus-related deaths taking the total number of people who had so far died from the disease in the country to 5,068.
In addition, another 593 patients had recovered from COVID-19, raising the total number of recoveries to 325,839.
Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 7,060,483 polymerase chain reaction tests, with 45,703 carried out in the last 24 hours.