The South African Haj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) has reported that everything remains on track within the South African camp, ahead of the sacred journey of haj. Having spent the last few days in Azizia to avoid the congestion in the holy city of Makkah, pilgrims are expected to depart on Wednesday evening for the area of Mina.
Sahuc president Shaheen Essop said they were constantly keeping in contact with their head of mission in the Saudi Kingdom, who had provided positive feedback in terms of the preparations and movements of the hujjaj. During the most recent contact, they had been informed that all camp allocations had now been completed.
“Everything seems to be on track for haj. We’ve spoken to the Muassasah earlier in the week as well, and they’ve got no issues to report on,” he said.
Reiterating press statements from within Kingdom, Essop noted the Saudi authorities had deployed an additional number of people to assist with the pilgrimage, “to ensure all hujajaj had a hassle free and pleasant journey.”
Sahuc has experienced a number of visits from the hujjaj to their specially set up clinics, with most issues relating to respiratory or dehydration problems. But Essop stressed that such cases were normal during the haj period.
“Earlier when the first pilgrims arrived, we did have an issue with one gentleman from the KZN who suffered a heart attack. He was hospitalized and alhamdullilah he is recovering well. Inshallah, we hope that he recovers his strength for the days of Tashreeq,” he said.
With the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, Saudi authorities have upped their efforts in disease control; in order prevent a possible epidemic in Kingdom. Upon arrival at airports in Jeddah and Medina, pilgrims were scanned for the virus. According to Essop, the Saudi Ministry of Health had revealed that they had yet to pick up any cases of the deadly virus.
“All things are looking pretty positive, and I think they’ve got a hand on the matter to ensure no epidemic breaks out in the Kingdom,” he explained
Essop said the first port of call for any issues amongst the hujjaj would be the Sahuc Hajj mission. He noted that mission workers had been assigned to the various haj operators and would be responsible for providing them with the relevant information, and also dealing with any complaints.
The haj pilgrimage is set to begin on Thursday 2nd October. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)