RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's Public Health Authority (Weqaya) revealed the proper behavior that the pilgrims should adhere to in the event that they were confirmed to be infected with the COVID-19 virus during the performance of the Hajj rituals.

Weqaya said that upon confirmation of infection with COVID-19, the pilgrim must comply with isolation and follow the instructions issued in this regard. In addition, the pilgrim should consult the campaign doctor immediately, especially with regard to taking medicines that reduce coughing or sore throat, Weqaya said, while warning against not using antibiotics without a prescription.

Weqaya also issued several general tips to maintain the health of the pilgrims as well as to avoid infection of respiratory diseases. Respiratory diseases are among the most common diseases during the Hajj season, and these included seasonal flu and corona infection, Weqaya said, noting that the main cause of transmission from one person to another is through coughing or sneezing.

Pilgrims must adhere to several general precautions to limit the spread of infection with the COVID-19 virus, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and the seasonal influenza virus, Weqaya said.

Pilgrims should wash their hands with soap and water or disinfect them with alcoholic gel in the event that soap and water are not continuously available, Weqaya said, while noting that the period of hand washing should not be less than 40 seconds, and the period of hand sterilization should not be less than 20 seconds.

Weqaya also added that it is important for pilgrims to be keen to maintain the use of masks and avoid touching the eyes, mouth or nose, as well as to pay attention to maintain personal hygiene at all times.

Keeping sufficient distances from others as much as possible, especially in crowded places, and avoiding approaching infected people, would contribute significantly to limiting the spread of viruses. It also alerted to use tissues when coughing and sneezing, and then throwing them in the designated places.

In the event of suffering from symptoms of respiratory diseases, Weqaya called on pilgrims that they must be careful to wear a mask permanently so as not to harm others. It also noted that it is important not to use other people’s tools or to share their tools with others.

The face mask must cover the nose, mouth and chin area, and it is necessary to replace it periodically or when it becomes dirty or wet, with the importance of the pilgrim’s keenness to avoid throwing the mask in places other than those designated for it.

Weqaya indicated that pilgrims must wear masks at all times in all holy sites and facilities, whether closed or open, and during their performance of the Hajj rituals, which include gathering places and crowds inside the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, and during the performance of tawaf, sa’i and while stoning at Jamarat.

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