No coronavirus cases among Haj pilgrims: Saudi

By Eudore R. Chand

MUZDALIFAH 1 August 2020: The Saudi Ministry of Health said in a statement on Friday that Haj pilgrims’ health status is reassuring with no epidemic diseases reported.

The Saudi Press Agency and Wam quoted the ministry as saying that, in particular, no cases of new coronavirus, Covid-19, were reported among pilgrims.

On Thursday, Assistant Minister of Health and official spokesman of the Saudi Ministry of Health, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdali, had confirmed that no coronavirus cases were recorded among the pilgrims, nor any diseases affecting public health.

WHO Director-General hails Haj precautions

GENEVA: Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has hailed the precautionary measures taken by Saudi Arabia during this year’s Haj.

“I’d like to congratulate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the steps it has put in place to make the Haj as safe as possible this year. This is a powerful demonstration of the kinds of measures that countries can and must take to adapt to the new normal,” he said at a news conference in Geneva.

In the meantime, he warned that younger people are at risk of contracting Covid-19. “Although older people are at a higher risk of severe disease, younger people are at risk too. One of the challenges we face is convincing younger people of this risk. Evidence suggests that spikes of cases in some countries are being driven in part by younger people letting down their guard during the northern hemisphere summer,”

“We have said it before and we’ll say it again: young people are not invincible. Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others. That’s why young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and protect others as everyone else. They can be leaders – they should be leaders and drivers of change.”

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