Makkah: Two Holy Mosques Affairs Holds Symposium on Saudi Arabia’s Efforts to Serve Pilgrims During COVID-19 Pandemic
Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Madinah Region inaugurated a symposium on ” the Efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Serving Pilgrims, Visitors of Two Holy Mosques during COVID-19 Pandemic”, which was held by the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque virtually on Tuesday.
At the outset of the symposium, Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Madinah Region Governor, extended his thanks, appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al for his approval to hold this symposium, to highlight the efforts of Saudi Arabia in serving visitors of the Two Holy Mosques and Hajj pilgrims during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that Saudi Arabia has proved its professional approach in dealing with the pandemic, through the concerted efforts of all governmental, civil, and charitable agencies, in a coordinated and continuous work system, which has achieved very positive results in limiting the spread of the virus and controlling it.
Prince Faisal bin Salman said that in light of the continuation of this pandemic, and the risk of the spread of infection during mass gatherings, and with what the world is witnessing about the existence of new variants from this virus, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was keen that the Hajj ritual will be hold in an organized environment and in limited numbers to ensure human safety and the performance of rituals in a safe atmosphere.
Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars and the General President of Scholarly Research and Ifta Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh delivered a speech in which he stressed that the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia consider the service of pilgrims as an honor and pride for them. They also consider it as an obligation on them towards their Muslims.
Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh explained that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has placed the safety of pilgrims at the forefront of its concerns, based on its keenness to achieve the interests of Muslims, preserve everything that benefits them and ensure their safety, and keep away everything that harms them.
Al Al-Sheikh added that these efforts also include organizing pilgrims and helping them observe social distancing while performing rituals, moving between the holy sites, equipping an integrated hospital, and allocating specialized medical staff to accompany the pilgrims, follow up their health conditions, and provide them with aid in times of need and necessity, in addition to providing field hospitals and mobile clinics in the holy sites and within Makkah and Medina.
Then, Acting Minister of Media Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi delivered a speech pointed out that Hajj season this year and for the second year is witnessing exceptional circumstances imposed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which reflects the Kingdom’s constant keenness to enable pilgrims and visitors of the Two Holy Mosques to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah in peace and safety as per health, security and regulatory controls and standards that ensure the preservation of their health and the performance of their rituals in a safe environment.
He indicated that the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the utmost importance of reliable and professional media to play a pivotal role in enlightening Muslims of the need to adhere to health procedures and precautions, especially during their performance of rituals in light of the exceptional circumstances resulting from the pandemic that has affected the entire world.
He added that the importance of social media platforms is to raise awareness of the services of pilgrims, and intensify awareness and educational programs through social networking platforms, so that information and services reach all Muslims in the world, especially at this stage when the Kingdom is preparing to organize a new exceptional Hajj season in the coming few days.
Acting Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Issam bin Saad bin Saeed said that the concerned authorities launched many distinguished initiatives to confront the COVID-19 and limit its spread, which had a great impact in overcoming the repercussions of the pandemic and mitigating its effects to the lowest possible levels.
Dr. Issam said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia harnessed all its capabilities for Hajj season 1441 AH, and the whole world witnessed exceptional success in an exceptional season.
Director of Public Security Lieutenant General Khaled bin Qarar Al-Harbi, talked about the efforts of the Ministry of Interior in preparing for the Hajj season in light of the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said that “There was a huge challenge in holding Hajj and preserving the health of pilgrims and workers in light COVID-19 pandemic.”
He pointed out that the Ministry of Interior has drawn up security and traffic plans, flowing plans, crowd management, and emergency plans to ensure the fulfillment of health requirements and contribute to the success of the Hajj season.
For his part, President General of the Grand Holy Mosque and Prophet’s Holy Mosque Affairs Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais affirmed that the Presidency harnessed all its human cadres to provide the best services to the pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques.
Dr. Al-Sudais added that the Presidency will utilize modern technology for the service and safety of the visitors of the Two Holy Mosques with the latest technologies and services in light of the pandemic so they can perform their rituals in a very peaceful and safe environment. This include the smart robot for distributing Zamzam water bottles, allocation of 10 robots for sterilization inside the Grand Mosque
He further added that the Presidency wash the Grand Mosque 300 times, through more than 5,000 workers with more than two million later of water and 5,000 liters of purifiers, in addition to 3,000 dumpsters that contributed to the removal of more than 1,500 tons of waste, 15 mobile watering carts to distribute Zamzam water in the courtyard and the paths allocated for tawaf with a total capacity of 100 packages per cart. Furthermore, distributing more than 6 million single-use Zamzam packages, distributing more than 50 mobile watering carts with a total capacity of 80 liters per cart.
He added that the Presidency will provide 5,000 manual wheelchair and 3,000 electric wheelchair and more than 90 Saudi engineers and technicians to operate and maintain more than 200 escalator and 14 elevators, and more than 8,000 speakers and 9 microphones for Imam and 6 for Muezzin.
He also added that there will be 6 volunteers teams and the total number of female volunteers for this season reached 338 with 33,344 volunteering hour, and more than 118,880 meals distributed benefiting 2,400,233 individuals.