Pilgrims begin the first of the three Tashriq days


Saudi Gazette

MINA — The pilgrims Saturday began the first of the three Tashriq days by continuing to throw pebbles at the three Satan replicas and doing the Tawaf Al-Ifadah which is an important pillar of the Haj rites.

The stoning of the devil went smoothly with no cases of stampede or overcrowding as the Jamarat Bridge has 11 entrances through which the pilgrims will pass, stone the devil and proceed directly to Makkah without having to return back on the same road.

The Civil Defense has established about 60 points to closely watch for any emergency cases at the Jamarat, which is being monitored by about 500 cameras.

The Presidency for Meteorology and the Environment (PME) has operated mobile laboratories on trucks to measure air quality on the Jamarat Bridge.

The pilgrims, who are in a hurry, can leave Mina tomorrow (Sunday) before sunset to go to Makkah to complete their Haj rites while those who are not in a hurry to leave can stay in Mina until Monday.

Mina will look deserted on Monday and the Tawafa establishments will start dismantling the tents. It will become a ghost city after it was a white city full of life and activity.

The pilgrims, who started slaughtering their sacrificial animals on Friday, would continue to do this today and tomorrow in seven slaughterhouses under the supervision of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The bank's president, Bandar Al-Hajjar, said that until today (Saturday) some 900,000 heads of sheep and cattle were slaughtered. Of these, about 518,428 sacrificial animals were slaughtered on Friday.

The slaughtering of animals will continue for about 72 hours during which close to a million heads of sheep will be slaughtered and their meat distributed among the poor and needy people in 23 Islamic countries.

The Ministry of Health announced that the general health condition of the pilgrims is satisfactory with no epidemics or contagious diseases so far reported.

The ministry, with the other concerned parties, have transported about 420 sick pilgrims who were confined to hospitals in Makkah and Madinah, to the holy sites to complete the pilgrimage.

It said the Mina Al-Jisr (Bridge) Hospital has so far extended medical treatment to a total of 2,176 male and female pilgrims of whom about 515 cases were received at the emergency ward.

It said as many as 1,385 pilgrims were treated at the hospital's outpatient clinics and seven pilgrims given kidney dialysis.

According to the ministry's statistics, about 59 pilgrims were admitted to the hospital while 21 treated from heat exhaustion and 10 from sunstroke. The ministry warns pilgrims not to take uncovered foodstuffs and not to purchase any food from hawkers.

The Ministry of Haj and Umrah and the Ministry of Interior on Saturday announced that about 121 fake Haj campaigns were discovered and said their owners were handed over to the Attorney General for further investigation prior to sending them to court.

The National Water Company (NWC) said it pumped 851,000 cubic meters of water into the Makkah and holy sites’ tanks on Friday, with an increase of 21 percent compared to last year.

The Special Emergency Force is providing its services to about two million pilgrims at the Jamarat Bridge.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Scouts have guided over 73,718 lost pilgrims on Eid Al-Adha Day, on Friday.

The Statistics and Information Unit at the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said that the Public Relations Department at the Grand Mosque has provided its services to over 10,000 pilgrims with special needs during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijja.

Makkah Municipality has signed several contracts to operate and maintain the temporary garbage collection stations in Makkah and the holy sites.

The Command and Control Center in the Haj Security Forces, an affiliate of Public Security, in Mina is providing information needed by the security and government authorities working in Makkah and the holy sites during the Haj season. It is monitoring all the locations via 5,906 surveillance cameras that function round the clock.

The Makkah Province Development Authority has successfully carried out its operation plan for management and supervision of the Mashaer Train Project, which transported over one million pilgrims on Tarwiyah Day and Eid Al-Adha Day, at the rate of 365,000 pilgrims in each phase.

Dr. Rumaih Bin Muhammad Al-Rumaih, chairman of the Transport Commission said that the transport of pilgrims between the holy sites is being carried out in a streamlined and highly efficient manner to enable the pilgrims to complete their Haj rites.

Some 500 male and female students of Umm Al-Qura University’s medical faculties are participating in serving the pilgrims.

Sheikh Maher Bin Muhammad Al-Me’aiqli, imam and khateeb of the Grand Mosque, visited on Saturday the headquarters of the Program for Guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for Haj and Umrah in Mina. He congratulated the pilgrims being hosted by the program to perform Haj this year. He added that they were chosen on the basis of their contribution to serve Islam before their departure from their respective countries.

The Civil Defense has warned against storing items used in pilgrims’ camps in the basements of residential buildings. It stressed that all must comply with the Civil Defense safety measures.