CYCLE AMBULANCE-1680604695169
Responders are emergency specialists who can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and treat injuries. Image Credit: Video grab.

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s medical authorities have introduced special bicycles and motorbikes to offer ambulance services to worshippers in Mecca, home to Islam’s holiest site, Saudi-owned television Al Arabiya has reported.

The ambulance bikes are operated by the Saudi Red Crescent Authority to provide medical assistance in pedestrian-only narrow places to which the usual ambulance cars cannot have access, the television has said.

The service has been developed for the current season of Umrah or minor pilgrimage, which usually peaks during the Islamic sacred month of Ramadan.

Alerts about the cases that need medical help are received via tablet devices from a central operation room.

Responders are emergency specialists who can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and treat injuries.

The number of Muslims, who prayed and performed Umrah at the Grand Mosque in Mecca in the first 10 days of Ramadan, reached 9.3 million, the Saudi news portal Ajel reported this week.

Saudi Arabia has in recent months unveiled a slew of facilities for Muslims wishing to come to the country to undertake Umrah.

Muslims holding different types of entry visas such as the personal, visit and tourism visas are allowed to undertake Umrah and visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa, where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) is located in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.

Saudi authorities have also extended the Umrah visa from 30 days to 90 and allowed holders to enter the kingdom via all land, air and sea outlets and leave from any airport.

In yet another facilitating step, Saudi Arabia has said its citizens can apply for visas inviting their friends abroad to visit the kingdom and undertake Umrah.

Saudi Arabia has also issued a stopover transit visa, allowing the holder to perform Umrah, visit the Prophet’s Mosque and attend different events across the kingdom. The four-day transit visa is valid for 90 days.

The kingdom has, moreover, said expatriates residing in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are eligible to apply for a tourist visa, regardless of their profession, allowing them to perform Umrah.

Millions of Muslims, who cannot afford the annual Hajj rituals physically or financially, annually flock to Saudi Arabia to undertake Umrah.