Pilgrims medina hajj saudi
Pilgrims arrive in the Saudi holy city of Medina. Image Credit: The Saudi news agency

Cairo: Health authorities in Saudi Arabia have said they are fully prepared to serve Muslims who continue to arrive in the kingdom to perform annual Hajj pilgrimage due later this month when the numbers of the pilgrims are expected to return to pre-epidemic levels.

The Saudi Health Ministry has said its services are provided for pilgrims arriving in the kingdom through 14 air, land and sea entry ports.

Health authorities have put in place controls at entry points to prevent diseases and head off potential outbreaks.

“Health services at pilgrims’ entry ports are considered the first defence line to preserve Hajj health security,” said the ministry.

It added that health monitoring centres at different arrival facilities have been supported with all requirements, including training their personnel in combating contagious diseases.

More than 198,670 pilgrims from different nationalities arrived until Tuesday in the Saudi holy city of Medina ahead of Hajj taking place in the final week of this month, according to figures from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj.

Indonesian pilgrims have accounted for 40,364 of the total arrivals in Medina, followed by Indians with 27,789 and Pakistanis with 26,749, the Saudi news agency reported.

Hajj is one of Islam’s five obligatory duties. Saudi Arabia has said there will be no limits on the numbers of pilgrims from around the world for the upcoming Hajj season, reversing earlier restrictions prompted by the global pandemic.

In the past two years, Saudi Arabia downsized the numbers of Muslims allowed to perform the Hajj rites to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Around 2.5 million Muslims used to attend Hajj annually in the pre-pandemic times.