Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah launched yesterday an Internet portal, www.moh.gov.sa,
to help guide Haj pilgrims.
Al-Rabeeah said yesterday it is a comprehensive portal, which gives all details about Haj services rendered by health providers under the able guidance of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
A visual presentation of the new portal was made before health officials in the presence of the minister at the MoH headquarters in Riyadh.
The portal gives health information related to pilgrims staying in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the locations of hospitals, clinics, phone numbers for ambulances, MoH staff directory and health institutions located within the holy cities.
The site also carries a message from King Abdullah and minister of health to pilgrims. The portal includes quarantine requirements for pilgrims and about health awareness programs targeted at the pilgrims.
It gives a detailed account of the coronavirus, which is considered one of the common etiological agents of the common cold but can be fatal.
The portal said coronaviruses are well known and most of the patients recover completely with no complications after receiving the needed supportive therapy. About 95 percent of the patients recover quickly without any problems. Pilgrims are to contact their doctors if the symptoms continue for more than two days. Patients are advised to take Vitamin C as a remedial measure.
The symptoms of the virus include runny nose, general feeling of illness, mild sore throat, cough, headache, low fever and chills. It can also cause respiratory, intestinal and neurological illness.
The portal advised people to pay special attention to personal hygiene, and said hand cleansing and covering the mouth and nose while sneezing would help prevent the spread of the disease.
According to a directive from the Ministry of Health, 16 entry points to the Kingdom have been alerted, and Health Ministry officials are carefully monitoring the pilgrims for any infection among them.
This year, the Kingdom has focused on diseases such as yellow fever, meningitis, seasonal influenza, polio and food poisoning. The stipulated vaccines should be given 10 days before the date of departure for the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
The MoH has deployed more than 20,000 health officials to serve the pilgrims and there is some 10,000 beds in various health facilities to cater to the needs of the pilgrims.
Every year, the ministry prepares a medical convoy to help hospitalized patients reach Arafat. And they are moved from the hospitals of Makkah, Mina, Madinah, and Jeddah, accompanied by an integrated medical crew.
On average 350 to 500 men and women perform the Haj rituals annually in this manner.
In a separate meeting held at the MoH headquarters yesterday, Al-Rabeeah said that his ministry is also coordinating with all other governmental and nongovernmental organizations to offer the best health services to the guests of Allah.
Under the aegis of Interior Minister Prince Ahmed, who is also the chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee, the minister said various health sectors have been integrated to give the best services to the pilgrims.