Muslim pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam s holiest shrine, at the Grand mosque in the holy Saudi city of Mecca during the annual hajj pilgrimage, on July 17, 2021. AFP
It added that since Egyptian pilgrims started arriving Tuesday night, 154 had received medical treatment in the delegation’s Mecca clinics while the other 731 were treated in Medina clinics.
The ministry has coordinated with Saudi Arabia to conduct dialysis sessions for an Egyptian patient and chemotherapy sessions for an oncology patient at the kingdom’s hospitals, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar stated.
Also, the ministry confirmed that all Egyptian pilgrims were free of any infectious diseases, and reiterated the full cooperation and coordination with all hospitals and the Saudi health authorities.
Earlier, Egypt’s Social Solidarity Minister Nevine El-Qabbaj stated that the first batch of pilgrims travelling under the sponsorship of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday. This batch included 225 participants with the remaining batches to follow on 2 July.
They were followed by pilgrims registered through tourism companies, who started to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, according to a statement by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
The ministry has allocated phone numbers for pilgrims and tourism companies to communicate directly around the clock with the ministry’s inspection committee located in Mecca, on the number 0558835153, and in Medina on the number 0551731706.
Hajj is one of the world's largest religious gatherings. In 2019, about 2.5 million people of all nationalities performed Hajj. The number of pilgrims Saudi Arabia will receive in 2022, however, will still be 40 percent less – almost a million people – than pre-pandemic numbers.
Saudi Arabia announced earlier that it would resume receiving non-Saudi pilgrims following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Saudi authorities allowed only 1,000 pilgrims to participate.
In 2021, the total increased to 60,000 fully vaccinated citizens and residents chosen through a lottery.
The Hajj season is expected to start on 7 July and will conclude on 12 July.
All capable Muslims are required to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, once in their lifetime. The Hajj consists of a series of religious rites that are completed over five days in Islam's holiest city, Mecca, and the surrounding areas of western Saudi Arabia.