Saudi receives over 447,300 haj pilgrims, says no health concerns

There have been no recorded cases of epidemics or quarantine diseases among pilgrims so far



Saudi Arabia received 447,302 pilgrims who came to perform haj rituals this year through its air and land ports as of Tuesday, August 8, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The figure represents an increase of 13.4 per cent over the same period last year, the Directorate General of Passports said in its daily statistics report.

While 445,390 pilgrims reached the country by air and 1,912 came by land.

Authorities have undertaken integrated readiness campaigns to receive pilgrims at various outlets, the report said. Officials also asserted that there would be no delays.

Meanwhile the Saudi Ministry of Health also confirmed that there have been no recorded cases of epidemics or quarantine diseases among pilgrims so far.

The “health situation is reassuring”, the SPA quoted the ministry as saying.

The ministry said preventive measures were taken at health check points for pilgrims abroad in cooperation between Saudi embassies and consulates, foreign haj authorities, as well as regional and international groups such as the World Health Organization.

The kingdom previously issued a list of vaccine requirements for pilgrims seeking haj visas, including for the Zika virus, dengue, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), yellow fever, cholera, meningitis, polio and vaccination against seasonal influenza.

The actual rituals of haj are expected to begin on August 28.

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