JEDDAH: Numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Saudi Arabia as the Health Ministry reported 1,357 cases on Sunday, the lowest number reported in months. The Kingdom has reported a total of 278,835 cases since the outbreak. The number of recoveries increased to 240,081 with 2,533 more patients recovered from the virus. This means that about 86 percent of total confirmed cases in the Kingdom have recovered.
Currently, there are 35,837 active COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia with 2,011 of them in critical condition. The ministry also announced 30 more COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the toll to 2,917.
Meanwhile, the ministry confirmed that there have been no reports of coronavirus infections among pilgrims at the holy sites of Hajj on the fifth day of the pilgrimage. Pilgrims safely performed the last stoning ritual on Jamarat Bridge in Mina on Sunday before moving back to Makkah’s Grand Mosque to complete their Hajj with the last circumambulation of the Kaaba known as “Farewell Tawaf.”
The ritual is complete when worshippers walk seven times around the Kaaba, marking the end of the Hajj season.
Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat said that after the Hajj rituals were over, the pilgrims would undergo a medical examination.
Pilgrims underwent seven days of home isolation before they began their Hajj journey, and will again be under home isolation after Hajj is complete.
Saudi authorities implemented strict precautions this year to ensure a safe Hajj season. “There was a detailed plan for each step pilgrims take; the main focus was how to effectively apply medical precautions and preventive measures,” Mashat said.
“By taking all these preventive measures and great efforts, the Kingdom sends the message that human health is its top priority,” he said.
Bashir Fadlallah Al-Faeq, who is from the Central African Republic, expressed his gratitude at being able to participate in this year’s exceptional Hajj season. “I feel safe and confident with the amazing and wonderful preventive measures taken by the authorities to limit the spread of the pandemic.”
The Saudi Public Security confirmed that no one was able to enter the holy sites without permission, noting that more than 2,000 violators who attempted to infiltrate these areas were caught and legal action was taken against them.
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, minister of interior and chairman of the Hajj Supreme Committee, held a virtual meeting with the leaders of the security sectors on Sunday. He conveyed the greetings of King Salman and the crown prince to the security men and leaders of the security sectors participating in the Hajj mission this year, on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha.
The minister praised the success of the security and organizational plans that were implemented during Hajj season this year amid exceptional health conditions.