UAE govt moves to limit number of Haj pilgrims

ABU DHABI — The UAE Government might consider curtailing the number of Haj pilgrims from the emirates this year in a bid to avert mishaps that result when millions of the faithful congregate, Khaleej Times has learnt.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Mon 24 Jul 2006, 11:56 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:17 PM

"The Haj Permanent Committee at the Ministry of Health (MoH) will discuss during a preliminary meeting, the possibility of reducing the number of pilgrims this year from the UAE as a precautionary step to avoid mishaps which usually occur during Haj season because of the huge numbers of pilgrims that rush pell-mell to perform different rituals," a senior health official told Khaleej Times yesterday.

The Committee began to organise necessary requirements to ensure the safety and comfort of the UAE Haj Mission 1427-2007. Last year more than 30,000 pilgrims, including 15,000 expatriates, performed Haj. The official also disclosed that vaccination procedures against meningitis and other medical check-ups required for pilgrims, will also be in place.

Meningitis vaccination is a prerequisite for all pilgrims demanded by Saudi authorities for visiting the holy sites and is usually administered by the preventive medicine departments across the country for persons intending to go on pilgrimage before leaving the UAE soil.

"Medical cards needed for each pilgrim to show his/her medical history and detailed information about his/her health condition so as to avert health complications during Haj, will also be tabled by the Committee," said the official.

Each pilgrim should have a medical card that contains comprehensive information about his/her health so as to facilitate first aid and medical care pilgrims might need while performing the holy rituals.

About the medical team accompanying the mission, the official said the Committee will study despatch of a qualified official team comprising doctors, technicians and nurses to provide health services to pilgrims.

"The specifications of ambulances and conditions for accommodation in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah for the UAE pilgrims will also be subject to lengthy discussions by the Committee," said the official.

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