First Hajj 2020 daily round-up focuses on health precautions

Ministry of Health spokesman Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Ali. (SPA)
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Updated 30 July 2020

First Hajj 2020 daily round-up focuses on health precautions

  • Ministry of Health spokesman highlights actions taken to protect pilgrims from COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi authorities are taking all possible precautions to ensure that Hajj is as safe for pilgrims as possible in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Ministry of Health spokesman Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Ali said on Wednesday.

“All the necessary actions and plans have been implemented to ensure the safety of pilgrims, including protocols that are in line with international best practices,” he said during the first daily round-up of developments during Hajj 2020, which was broadcast live on Al-Ekhbariya TV.

Pilgrims are monitored several times each day to check not only for signs of COVID-19 but other illnesses, he added. If a potential case is detected there are a number of options available to confirm a diagnosis, provide care for the patient and ensure that the health of other pilgrims is protected.

Al-Ali said that six hospitals are available to treat pilgrims, one of which is a mobile hospital. In addition there are 51 clinics, 62 field-supervision groups, 200 ambulances and 8,000 healthcare professionals.

Health and security were the main topics during the press conference, which also featured Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, security spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.

Hajj began on Tuesday evening and continues until Sunday. Saudi authorities have restricted pilgrim numbers to only a few thousand people who already reside in the Kingdom, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari, Saudi ambassador to Lebanon

Updated 09 August 2020

Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari, Saudi ambassador to Lebanon

Saudi Arabia has stepped up its relief efforts in Lebanon following the deadly explosions in Beirut.

Saudi Ambassador Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari said the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center began organizing emergency aid immediately after the incident.

Bukhari has been the Saudi envoy to Lebanon since December 2018. He previously served as charge d’affaires at the embassy from March 2018 until his current appointment.

Bukhari obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science with distinction at the King Abdul Aziz University in 1995.

He obtained a higher diploma in diplomatic studies at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Riyadh in 2000, and a master’s in international politics from California State University, Fullerton.

He joined the Saudi diplomatic corps in 1996. In 1999, he was appointed deputy head of the mission of the Kingdom’s embassy in Niger.

Bukhari served as the consul general in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2006. In 2007, he was appointed to the office of the undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He became director of total quality management in 2009.

In 2013, he was assigned a role at the Saudi Embassy in Berlin. He was appointed assistant director general of planning and development at the ministry in 2016. He also served as the director general of diplomatic affairs and protocol and deputy undersecretary for protocol affairs in 2017.