The bittersweet moment when pilgrims bid farewell to Makkah after Hajj

RIYADH: The Saudi health minister hailed the success of Hajj preparations after no outbreaks or threats to public health were reported during the annual pilgrimage.

Fahad Al-Jajajel said in a statement: “I am delighted to announce the success of this year’s Hajj health plans. Despite the large number of pilgrims and the challenges of high temperatures, we have experienced no outbreaks or threats to public health.

“The health system has been equipped with 189 hospitals, health centers and mobile clinics, offering a bed capacity of over 6,500. More than 40,000 medical, technical, administrative and volunteer staff were mobilized, supported by more than 370 ambulances, seven air ambulances, 12 laboratories and 60 trucks.

“We have also provided more than 1,860 medical supplies and, in a significant move, deployed three mobile medical depots to the holy sites,” he added, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Over 390,000 pilgrims received medical services during this year’s pilgrimage, of which 28 underwent open-heart surgery, 720 received cardiac catheters and over 1,169 underwent dialysis sessions, the minister said.

Virtual health services through the Seha Virtual Hospital have been provided to over 5,800 pilgrims and cases of heat stress have been managed with appropriate medical care. Proactive awareness efforts have helped limit the increase in cases.

The minister attributed the success of the plans to the integration between all government agencies, including the Health Holding Company’s Makkah Health Cluster, the Red Crescent Authority, the Public Health Authority (Weqaya), the Food and Drug Authority and significant contributions from the National Unified Procurement Company (NUPCO ), Health Voluntary Center and other entities in the Kingdom.

Al-Jajajel praised the Supreme Hajj Committee for its measures to protect pilgrims from extreme heat and other health risks during the rituals. He also expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Interior for its active role in the execution of health plans.

The achievement reflects the integration of all government entities and preparation for the Hajj season under the Guest of God Programme, the minister said.

He highlighted the Central Hajj Committee’s recommendation for pilgrims to avoid peak heat periods, saying the guidance helped maintain safety and manage cases of heat stress.

Leave a Comment