Saudi Arabia’s Red Crescent Authority (SCRA) has launched a Hajj mission and will be providing medical volunteers and equipment to ensure that all pilgrims are safe during the Islamic ritual.
The SCRA has allocated over 300 male and female volunteers, more than 2,000 medical items for the teams on-ground and 30 fully-equipped ambulance bags to support paramedic services and the associated health authorities in the holy sites of Mecca, Arafat, and Muzdalifah, according to a statement.
The authority also set up 25 paramedic points and equipped them with 30 oxygen bags.
For the second year in a row, the annual Hajj ritual is being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mecca would normally welcome more than 2.5 million Muslims from across the world for the Hajj season but this year’s capacity was limited to only 60,000 people who had to be residents of Saudi Arabia, vaccinated against COVID-19, and between the ages of 18 and 65. They must also not suffer from chronic illnesses or have previously performed Hajj.
The Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior set out the rules and regulations for the Hajj season in early July, outlining that as of July 5, anyone caught attempting to reach the Grand Mosque, the areas around it, and the holy sites, including Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat, without a permit will be subject to a fine of nearly 10,000 riyals ($2,700).
The guidelines have been put in place to ensure absolute compliance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Hajj which is taking place from July 17 and 22.