Middle East

Hajj 2021: No COVID-19 infections or other illnesses among pilgrims

Wed, 2021-07-21 00:23

JEDDAH: Pilgrims participating in this year’s Hajj rituals successfully complied with health measures spread across all holy sites as the Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH) announced no coronavirus (COVID-19) infections or other illnesses among pilgrims.
MoH spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly made the announcement on Tuesday during a joint press conference with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
During this year’s Hajj, the MoH treated cases of physical exhaustion along with 651 clinical checkups, 396 emergency cases, 37 cases of heat exhaustion, 26 hospitalization admissions, and six successful cardiac catheterizations.
Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub talked about the importance of the additional safety mechanisms applied to this year’s Hajj. More policemen were present to supervise COVID-19 health measures while also looking out for the pilgrims’ general well-being. He also said 356 violators during Hajj were reported. Most were trying to reach specific holy sites in Muzdalifah, Mount Arafat, and the Grand Mosque. “I would like to reinforce the importance of committing to the Hajj safety measures and avoiding violations,” Al-Shalhoub said.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia confirmed 14 new COVID-19- related deaths on Tuesday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,075. The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,273 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 512,142 people have now contracted the disease.
It was also announced on Tuesday that under the implementation of King Salman’s directives, the General Directorate of Passports extended the validity of residencies for expatriates outside the Kingdom, visit visas, exit visas, and return visas. They will all be automatically extended, without fees or financial compensation, through Aug. 31.

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Muslim pilgrims pray at the Namira Mosque on Arafat Day, the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage, in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on July 19, 2021. (AFP)
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