The assistant to the Minister of Health and official ministry spokesperson, Dr. Mohammed Abdelali, told Asharq Al-Awsat that if any symptoms of COVID-19 are confirmed, a pilgrim performing his duty will be isolated and directed to a quarantine center in Makkah that meets the needs of his health status for treatment.
He said that the medical teams in Makkah and the holy sites are working with the pilgrims around the clock and regularly evaluating their health conditions, as the ministry has put all the means available to protect the pilgrims, dedicating 8,000 medical and technical cadres to the effort.
He went on to say: “The Ministry of Health is working to ensure pilgrims' health and safety, with many medical measures put in place, ensuring that Hajj is safe and healthy this year, especially in light of the global health conditions."
According to Abdelali, the ministry is committed to ensuring the highest possible standards of health safety and preventive measures so that pilgrims return to their places of residence safely. Also, all of those performing the Hajj pilgrimage this year will be quarantined before and after fulfilling their religious duties, thereby ensuring that they are not afflicted with the novel coronavirus and maintaining everyone’s safety this Hajj season.
On the means used to transport the pilgrims to Mount Arafat, the health leader ensured that the health and preventative measures were being applied and those entering were visually screened per the infection control requirements, at the mosques' gates, by the teams that the Ministry of Health had tasked with monitoring the Nimra Mosque. Compliance with social distancing during prayer and as worshipers were seated in the mosque was also ensured. Afterward, they were allowed to go from the Nimra Mosque to the Arafa camps.
The spokesman also pointed that there are six hospitals across the holy sites, 51 clinics, 200 emergency vehicles, and 62 field teams following up on developments, while there are 10 hospitals in Makkah equipped with cutting edge medical technology and 82 health centers; in addition, the ministry has provided 2,486 beds, 321 of them for intensive care, and 112 for isolation.