2000 News Story

Inspection for 1420 Hajj; arrival of King Fahd

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz arrived in Jeddah yesterday in readiness for the upcoming Hajj season, and was welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz and Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz, who had arrived earlier.

Meanwhile, pilgrims who have been visiting the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah are beginning to head for Makkah, most of them on the Hijrah Road. At intervals on this 250-mile-long modern highway are security stations, health centers, and other facilities to ensure the safety and comfort of the travelers. The designated location for the commencement of the rituals is especially well equipped, to allow pilgrims to put on their pilgrimage garments and formulate their intention to perform Hajj.

In Makkah today, Minister of Health Dr. Osama Ibn Abdulmajeed Shobokshi, following an inspection tour of the Holy Sites, announced that 30 ambulances and advanced medical equipment would be available at Mina, adding that 60 additional ambulances were ready in case of an emergency, more than double the number of last year.

Moreover, Chairman of the Saudi Red Crescent Society (SRCS) Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Suweilem announced today that SRCS had also increased its medical and rescue facilities, especially in Mina. He said more than 1,850 trained personnel and 303 ambulances would be available during the Hajj season at 114 emergency stations in Madinah and along the access roads as well as in Makkah and the Holy Sites. As it did last year, SRCS is providing mobile medical services along the Madinah-Makkah highway, on the Al-Layth-Makkah road, and on the Jeddah-Makkah road, with two crews passing every six hours on each of these three roads. An innovation is the use of the Internet to call ambulance services.