No health issues reported among Hajj pilgrims

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Ministry of Health spokesman Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Ali briefs the media on the health aspect of the Hajj on Thursday in Makkah. (SPA)
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Dr. Hussein Al-Sharif, Haj Undersecretary for the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, address the media during a joint press conference in Makkah on Thursday. (SPA)
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Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, security spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, fields question from the media during a joint press conference in Makkah on Thursday. (SPA)
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Updated 31 July 2020

No health issues reported among Hajj pilgrims

  • Ministry of Health spokesman said hospitals remain on high alert but so far there have been no cases of coronavirus or other contagious diseases

MAKKAH: There have been no health problems so far among pilgrims during Hajj, Ministry of Health spokesman Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Ali said on Thursday.

“It is reassuring … that no cases of coronavirus or any other diseases that affect public health have been reported,” he said during his daily Hajj briefing in Makkah.

He added that the health services are fully prepared and remain on high alert to respond to any problems that arise. There are 1,456 hospital beds available, including 272 for intensive care, 331 for isolation, and more than 200 in emergency departments.

Field teams of healthcare workers were on hand on Thursday, said Al-Ali, as pilgrims climbed Mount Arafat and then moved on to Muzdalifah. In addition to providing any treatment that was required, they also offered support for the preventive measures and precautions that have been implemented to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, security spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said that the pilgrims were escorted safely to Mount Arafat to perform their rituals, and then to Muzdalifah. He added that security officers are supervising pilgrims to ensure that social distancing and other precautionary health measures are followed. In addition, he said, they have prevented a number of unauthorized individuals from gaining access to the holy sites.


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.