Mecca hospitals
Eight hospitals and 43 healthcare centres have finalised their preparations to offer high-level services to worshippers in Mecca. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: More than 50 medical facilities in the Saudi city of Mecca, home to Islam’s holiest site, have been readied to render high-level services to worshippers expected in large numbers during the current month of Ramadan.

Eight hospitals and 43 healthcare centres have finalised their preparations for the season under plans overseen by the Saudi Ministry of Health.

The facilities include the Ajiad Emergency Hospital operating round the clock and three other emergency centres set up at the hallways of the Grand Mosque. In addition, a seasonal hospital is operating in the northern courtyard of the mosque, Islam’s holiest place.

All of them are fitted with state-of-the-art equipment to handle emergencies.

The Mecca Health Cluster said it has put in place operational plans for the Ramadan season with all human resources and equipment ready to offer the required services, including outpatient clinics at all hospitals.

Ramadan traditionally marks the peak season of Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque.

Worshippers from inside and outside the kingdom would flock to the Grand Mosque, which houses the Holy Kaaba, to perform Umrah and offer prayers.

To cope with the expected influx, Saudi authorities have unveiled a series of measures to help worshippers perform rites smoothly and comfortably.

The circumambulation courtyard of the mosque around the Holy Kaaba and the ground floor are designated for Umrah pilgrims during Ramadan. Likewise, authorities have allocated certain gates of the sprawling mosques for pilgrims’ entry and exit to stave off overcrowding.

In addition, buses ferrying worshippers are denied access into the precincts of the mosque. Instead, they stop at designated parking areas to facilitate traffic and head off congestion.