Saudi Arabia marks first Hajj ritual “Tarwiyah”


MECCA, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 24 — Millions of pilgrims started Wednesday the Day of Tarwiyah in Mina, a neighborhood of Mecca, marking the first ritual of Hajj of this season, with Saudi authorities promising the smooth flow and safety of pilgrims.
Performing the ritual of Tarwiyah, the pilgrims wearing Ihram clothing marked the official commencement of Hajj. After that, they will head for Arafat from dawn.
The traffic on all routes leading to Mina has been smooth, Saudi interior ministry spokesman Mansoor Al Turki said at a press conference Wednesday.
“No high traffic jams were reported on roads leading to Mina, while heavy traffic was registered last night at the entrances of Mecca through Jeddah and Taif. Heavy pedestrian movements were noticed in some parts around the grand mosque,” he was quoted by the Saudi News Agency as saying.
The civil defense department has implemented its plan for Mina by dividing the area into five zones with the deployment of 100 rescue, firefighting and emergency room units, said the department ‘s spokesperson Abdullah Al Harathi.
“We focused this year on the safety in Arafat, which is filled with traditional camps, with the assigning of 37 safety officers to supervise those camps. Those camps are equipped with devices that can cut off electricity within seconds in any electric fault, ” he said.
To prevent the spreading of contagious diseases, medical teams have been assigned to all holy sites to provide required health services on the spot for those who need them, said Dr Khalid Mirghalani, spokesperson for the health ministry.
In Arafat, there are four hospitals and 46 health centers which are fully equipped to provide services for all pilgrims.
“From the beginning of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, 103, 000 pilgrims were provided with medical services through receiving emergency room services and visiting clinics,” he said.[db:内容2]