Saudi Official; Monkeypox is not a significant concern during Hajj at this point

Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat, the Deputy Minister of Hajj, stated the impact of the monkeypox during the Hajj is not a significant concern.

Riyadh: Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat, the Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, stated the impact of the monkeypox during the Hajj is not a significant concern.

The Deputy Minister made remarks during an interview with the Saudi channel Al-Saudiya. Mashat said the Hajj organizers could trust the Ministry of Health’s measures to confront monkeypox.

While the Ministry of Health has stipulated the health requirements for hajj pilgrims; these did not include any measures against monkeypox at the time.

Mashat confirmed the Ministry is taking proactive actions to deal with any case of the disease should it appear during the Hajj season.

Saudi Arabia’s intention and practice is always “Human Health First”. He said that this philosophy makes it imperative that specific requirements are met to safeguard pilgrims’ health through their entire Hajj journey.

Mashat noted that the health requirements imposed for Hajj are based on the variation in the level of health from one country to another.

He said that the Ministry had set the health requirements focused on proactive and preventive matters. These measures are represented through health protocols to prevent diseases proactively and not wait for an outbreak to deal with a disease.

Mashat said that the Ministry’s proactive and preventive matters emphasized pilgrims wishing to perform the Hajj rituals comply with several standards and requirements.

These include the obligation to provide a PCR test 72 hours before arrival and proof of immunization. In addition, the Hajj protocols restrict pilgrim’s age to 65 years.

He confirmed that the area of Arafat has a robust; and extensive electrical network sufficient for the entire temporary city during the Hajj season.

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Also, on several levels, 20% of the Mina camps have been fully developed. The developments include housing and toilets. Mashat added the completion of more than 1,000 toilet complexes in the tent city to the results list.

As for children during the Hajj, Mashat confirmed that the minimum age for performing the Hajj rituals is 15 years; indicating that any pilgrim bringing children with them is considered a violator of regulations in this regard.

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