| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

‘Express’ hajj pilgrims prepare to depart mina

The majority of Hajj pilgrims will prepare on Friday to depart the holy city of Makkah on the third day of Eid al-Adha and on the second day of Tashreeq, in what is known as the “day of haste”.

On the first day of Tashreeq, pilgrims cast stones at pillars representing the devil.

This year’s pilgrimage was the first in three years to be held without coronavirus restrictions and drew over 1.8 million Muslims from all corners of the Earth.

This year the Hajj was held in intense heat, with daytime temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).

The Saudi Health Ministry said it had treated over 1,700 cases of heat exhaustion or heat stroke on Thursday alone, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pilgrimage to over 8,400.

Mohammad Al-Abdel Ali, a Health Ministry spokesman, said Wednesday that some 4,000 pilgrims had been hospitalized.

The Health Ministry warned pilgrims to carry umbrellas and avoid direct sunlight at all times, and to drink plenty of water. Tens of thousands of health workers have been mobilized for the pilgrimage, and water and free drinks were being handed out to the pilgrims.

Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif inspected on Thursday the operation of the Security Forces Hospital in Makkah and the health services being provided to the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance managed to send over 17 million text messages of awareness to the pilgrims in ten different languages since the beginning of the Hajj.

The texts aim to raise awareness about the Hajj and Umrah rituals, introduce pilgrims to telephone and library services, and stress the need to abide by the state’s rules and regulations to ensure their safety.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat