JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Interior Minister Prince Ahmed, who is chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee, said 1,752,932 foreign pilgrims have arrived for Haj this year, including 801,126 women (46 percent).
He said the number was 4 percent (77,968) less than that of last year.
He said the foreign pilgrims came from 189 countries.
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal said nearly three million pilgrims had arrived in Mina and the process was completed successfully without any major incidents.
“The health condition of pilgrims is satisfactory,” he said.
More than 82,000 security officers have been deployed to ensure smooth Haj operation.
Asked about the number of domestic pilgrims, Prince Khaled said: “I cannot give you an exact number because unfortunately a large number of people enter the holy sites without Haj permits.”
All measures have been taken for the smooth flow of pilgrims to Arafat today in the climax of Haj, he said.
Commerce and Industry Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said a large number of cold-storage trucks carrying foodstuffs, juices, beverages and water have been sent to the holy sites to ensure enough supply of foodstuffs for pilgrims.
The ministry has confiscated and destroyed about 7,500 fast-food meals and dairy products for violating health regulations.
Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Khaled Mirghalani said no cases of contagious diseases among pilgrims have been reported so far.
Civil defense officials said they had taken precautionary measures to assist pilgrims in case of rains in Arafat.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said new projects implemented by the government would facilitate the movement of pilgrims to the Jamrat for the stoning ritual.