Minister wants airport health check for Umrah pilgrims

Updated 16 January 2015

Minister wants airport health check for Umrah pilgrims

Health Minister Mohammed Alhayazie has urged officials to ensure that all precautions are taken to check foreign Umrah pilgrims at King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
“We should also provide Umrah pilgrims with the necessary health services,” the minister said, while receiving a report on the performance of the health-monitoring center at KAIA, which was presented by its director Abdul Ghani Al-Maliki.
More than 6 million foreign pilgrims are expected to arrive this year for Umrah, which is four times the number of pilgrims who come for the annual Haj.
During last year’s Haj season, the government took a series of measures to prevent an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Ebola viruses in the Kingdom. It did not allow entry to Hajis from Ebola-hit countries.
All pilgrims aged two years and older, who intend to undertake Haj or Umrah, and seasonal workers, are required to provide proof of vaccination against meningococcal meningitis ACW135Y to obtain a visa for entry into the Kingdom.
Meningococcal ACW135Y vaccine should be administered to pilgrims not more than three years and not less than 10 days before their arrival in the Kingdom, and should be recorded in a vaccination book showing the traveler’s full name.
All travelers arriving from polio-endemic countries, and those where there have been outbreaks including Afghanistan, Chad, Nigeria and Pakistan, regardless of age and vaccination status, should receive one dose of oral polio vaccine.
Pilgrims arriving from countries at risk of transmission of yellow fever must present a valid International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, documenting yellow fever vaccination completed in accordance with international health regulations.
The ministry recommends that international pilgrims be vaccinated against seasonal influenza before arrival in the Kingdom, particularly those at increased risk, including pregnant women, children under five years, the elderly and individuals with underlying health conditions.


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 15 September 2019

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • Kuwait investigating the sighting of a drone over its territory and is coordinating with Saudi Arabia
  • US says no evidence attacks came from Yemen, as claimed by the Houthis

JEDDAH: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the Kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, where an Arab coalition has been fighting to restore the internationally recognized government.
But the Wall Street Journal reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.

Some Iraqi media outlets also said Saturday’s attack on Saudi oil facilities came from Iraq but Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied the reports and vowed to punish anyone who did use Iraq as a launch pad for attacks in the region. 
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said. “The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”

The reports come after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.

Kuwait also said it was investigating the sighting of a drone over its territory and is coordinating with Saudi Arabia and other countries. 
“The security leadership has started the necessary investigations over the sighting of a drone over the coastline of Kuwait City and what measures were taken to confront it,” the Kuwaiti cabinet said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah directed military and security officers to tighten security at vital installations and to take all necessary measures “to protect Kuwait’s security.”
Local Kuwaiti media reported that witnesses say they saw a drone near a presidential palace on Saturday morning, around the same time of the attacks in Saudi Arabia.
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.

Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.