Arafat hajj
Pilgrims gather on Mount of Mercy at the plain of Arafat during the annual haj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, July 8, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: More than 25,000 medical staff are providing health services to Hajj pilgrims in Mecca, Medina, and other holy sites at 23 hospitals, said Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al Abdali.

Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted him as saying that the ministry is prepared to provide all required services to the pilgrims.

The hospitals at the holy sites have 4,654 inpatient beds, including 1,080 beds in intensive care units, as well as 238 beds allocated for cases of sunstroke, in addition to 175 ambulances in service, including fully-serviced vehicles in an advanced manner, Al Abdali said.

The spokesman added, “The health status of the pilgrims is reassuring, and no outbreaks of diseases affecting public health have been recorded among them. The health sectors have so far received more than 53,000 visitors to health facilities, while the number of services provided by virtual health centre has reached 1,736.”

Health authorities said that they have fully equipped 93 healthcare centres across the holy sites in Mecca to provide pilgrims participating in the annual Hajj pilgrimage with quick and direct health services, Al Arabiya reported.

The centres, which operate around the clock, include general clinics and offer various healthcare services to pilgrims, including to those who suffer from chronic illnesses.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has allowed more than 300 people with special needs to perform Hajj this year, SPA said.

The move comes as part of the national initiative launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, for the second consecutive year, targeting people with disabilities and orphans from all regions of Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj.

The initiative aims to enable people with disabilities, and orphans to perform the holy rituals with ease, as part of the efforts made by the Kingdom’s government to serve them, in line with Vision 2030.

The ministry said it is keen to provide them with all facilities through the presence of escorts with special needs, suitable and equipped housing in Mecca and the holy sites that take into account their conditions, and volunteers to serve them around the clock.