MOH News
MOH: ‘No Epidemiological or MERS-CoV Cases Detected Amongst Umrah Pilgrims Thus Far’
25 June 2015
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has affirmed that, thus far, no epidemiological or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases have been detected amongst Umrah pilgrim – praise be to Allah. A total of 16.532 pilgrims have received therapeutic services at Makkah’s hospitals and primary health care centers, as well as the health centers located in the vicinity of the Meccan Sanctuary (the Grand Mosque).

The Ministry made clear that the preventive plan – Ramadan 1436H, set by the MOH Agency for Public Health, involves a set of measures for the prevention of diseases, epidemiological surveillance, and quick response to infectious diseases that could develop epidemiological outbreaks. Such measures include vaccination campaigns against meningitis for Makkah’s citizens and residents, and against seasonal influenza for the targeted groups, as well as measures for environmental sanitation and drinking water monitoring.

Represented by Makkah Health Affairs General Directorate, the Ministry of Health (MOH), under the direct follow-up of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz al-Falih, has embarked on implementing an integrated plan, since the outset of Ramadan, to provide health care for Umrah pilgrims. In this context, Makkah Health Affairs General Directorate has harnessed all human and material capabilities for serving pilgrims around the clock. Health services are provided by the highly qualified medical crews, and state-of-the-art medical equipments offered by the Holy City’s seven hospitals, as well as King Abdullah Medical City (KAMC), let alone the primary health care centers, and the health centers located inside and in the vicinity of the Meccan Sanctuary. That is to be added to the health surveillance centers annexed to King Abdulaziz Airport.

All Makkah’s hospitals are in Ramadan working with full capacity, the Ministry added. These hospitals are: King Abdulaziz Hospital, Heraa General Hospital, Al-Nour Specialist Hospital, and the Maternity and Children Hospital. A total of 16.532 pilgrims have received medical services, of them 9.507 pilgrims were treated in the emergency centers early this Ramadan; most of them were suffering from heat exhaustion and chronic diseases. The number of pilgrims received by outpatient clinics is 3.076, whereas the number of hospitalized cases has amounted to 3.949, most of whom have made full recovery and discharged from the hospitals. The number of cases received by the primary health care centers located in the vicinity of the Grand Mosque from Ramadan 1st to 5th is 252 cases.
 
According to the Ministry, besides, Ajiad Emergency Hospital, which works all through the year, is ready to receive the emergency cases, and those which need to be hospitalized; it has a 12-bed-capcity intensive care unit (ICU). Emergent and critical cardiac cases are received and admitted to the 8-bed-capacity cardiac care unit (CCU). Emergent cases that need surgical intervention are referred to Mekkah’s hospitals, after offering the necessary first aid. Moreover, the hospital has been reinforced with the necessary incumbents, through contracts aimed to cover some of the medical and technical needs during Ramadan. The supported specialties and sections include the ICU, cardiology, internal medicine, emergency, general practitioner, pharmacy, lab, and nursing. 
 
Over and above, the Ministry indicated that two health centers have been opened in the Grand Mosque; the first is located near to Door 85, at the first floor of King Fahad Expansion, west of the Grand Mosque. The second health center is located next to Al-Salam Door, at al-Masa’a Basement, east of the Grand Mosque. Both centers provide 24/7 ambulatory health services for emergency cases amongst pilgrims inside or in the vicinity of the Grand Mosque – Allah forbid! Those are to be added to the Makkah’s 36 permanent health centers, 16 of them are dual-shift centers.

 The Ministry, it is noteworthy, had issued health requirements for those willing to perform this year’s (1436H) Hajj or Umrah. It was recommended that the elderly (over 65 years old), and persons with chronic diseases, for their own safety, are recommended to put off their pilgrimage. Examples of such diseases are: hearth diseases, kidney diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes, congenital and acquired immunodeficiency, and tumors, in addition to pregnant women, and children under 12 years old.

The National Center for Information and Health Awareness, affiliated to MOH, for its part, has issued a set of medical tips and guidelines for Umrah pilgrims. These tips include taking sufficient medicines when setting off for pilgrimage (especially diabetics, and patients with hypertension and kidney diseases, avoiding direct exposure to the sun, using umbrellas to avoid heat exhaustion, paying attention to hygiene, keeping away from congested places to avoid infectious diseases, and visiting the nearest health center when feeling tired or exhausted while performing the Umrah rites.



 



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