From the news desk

Mina ready to welcome Hajis

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The valley of Mina is all prepared to welcome the Guests of Allah who will start streaming into the tent city from tomorrow (Dhul Hijjah 8) in preparation for the Day of Arafat which falls on Wednesday.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has directed all agencies concerned to provide all services and facilities so that pilgrims perform their rituals with ease and comfort.

A total of 1,372,148 pilgrims had arrived from abroad till Saturday, according to the daily statistics of the Directorate General of Passports.
Some 308 pilgrims have died.

About three million people from around the world as well as from within the Kingdom are expected to converge in Mina and other other holy sites for Haj, which lasts about five days.

The Kingdom has deployed 100,000 security personnel for the safety and well-being of pilgrims.

Members of an elite counterterrorism unit, traffic police and emergency civil defense personnel are among those deployed to help with crowd control and safety. They are supported by additional troops from the army and National Guard, Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki was quoted as saying.

Inside the Interior Ministry’s nerve center, police monitor dozens of screens with feeds from about 5,000 CCTV cameras installed throughout Makkah and Madinah.

“We’re active, we’re awake,” Al-Turki said, referring to the security forces’ readiness to deal with any eventuality.

On Thursday, the Kingdom’s military and police put on a parade in Makkah, with security forces jumping through burning hoops and thwarting a mock terrorist attack.

The show was aimed at deterring any would-be troublemakers, and was attended by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior.

More than 3,000 Civil Defense personnel will be deployed in Mina from Tuesday till the end of Haj to oversee the safety and security of the pilgrims against any emergency hazards.

Maj. Gen. Ali Al-Otaibi, director of the Civil Defense forces in Mina, said there will be 49 units covering all areas in Mina to provide fire-extinguishing, rescue and ambulance services to the Guests of God.

He said there will be Civil Defense personnel on 276 motorbikes patrolling Mina around the clock to check safety measures in tents and promptly inform about any emergency situation.

The Civil Defense has deployed 17,600 forces in Makkah and holy sites to ensure the safety of pilgrims during the Haj and deal quickly with fires and natural diasters.

The Ministry of Health has launched its service ‘937’ to receive suggestions and complaints around the clock from pilgrims in Urdu, French, Turkish, Persian, English and Arabic.

Meanwhile, the Health Affairs Department in Makkah has prepared special cars manned with medical teams to transport the pilgrims injured in the Makkah crane collapse accident.

Dr. Mustapha Baljoon, director of the department, said the hospitals in Makkah are currently counting the injured as a prelude to transport them to holy sites.

Health monitoring centers at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah have carried out precautionary plans for pilgrims to discover suspected cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Health center director at the airport Abdulaziz Al-Maliki said awareness pamphlets on MERS and other chronic diseases were distributed to pilgrims.

Guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Program praised the Kingdom’s role in educating Muslims in various Islamic countries, fighting terrorism, spreading Islam’s correct image and boosting the spirit of brotherhood among Muslims from different countries through the program. SAUDI GAZETTE

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