Pilgrims safe from infectious diseases

A pilgrim wears a face mask as he supplicates at the Jamarat in Mina.

A pilgrim wears a face mask as he supplicates at the Jamarat in Mina.

Health authorities detected 134 MERS cases during this Haj season but they all tested negative during lab investigations.

“By the grace of God, all suspected MERS cases were negative,” said Dr. Anis Sindi, deputy chief of the command and control center in a statement on Sunday.

He said the health condition of pilgrims is satisfactory, adding that no confirmed MERS or Ebola cases have been found among them.

He said the Kingdom’s health facilities in Makkah and other holy sites had provided 903 dialysis services in addition to 11 open-heart surgeries and 277 catheterization and cardiovascular interventions.

“We have dealt with suspected MERS cases considering them as confirmed cases in order to prevent the spread of this disease in the Kingdom,” Sindi said, adding that the ministry has set up a mobile laboratory inside the holy sites to test samples from suspected cases.

Saudi nurses taking part in the Haj service said they were not afraid of being exposed to MERS and Ebola cases during the Haj season. “I am serving pilgrims during the Haj season for the third year in a row,” said Hussein Buhamoud from the Health Department in Al-Ahsa.”

Jowhara Hamad, a female nurse, said she joined the Haj service this year for the first time seeking the blessings of God. “I have taken all precautions against infectious diseases and the rest I leave to God,” she added.


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