(MENAFN - Arab News) Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar yesterday urged heads of field service units to receive pilgrims in the best possible manner at the time of their arrival, adhering to the Islamic etiquette of reception.
"We should project the glittering cultural face of this country and its outstanding services to the guests of God," the minister said while addressing a meeting of field workers.
"We should check the buildings arranged for the accommodation of pilgrims before and after their arrival to make sure they receive all the necessary services," Hajjar said.
He also urged Haj officials to distribute Zamzam water at the residences of pilgrims throughout their stay in Makkah.
Tawafa organizations should strictly follow the schedule for dispatching pilgrims to the Jamrat for the stoning ritual in order to avoid congestion and stampedes.
He said the Tawafa organizations should improve their services to pilgrims every year making use of the advanced facilities readied by the government.
"The field service groups, who deal with pilgrims directly, should improve their services to the highest levels in order for pilgrims feel betterment in services," he added.
Separately, the president of the Saudi Diabetes & Endocrine Association (SDEA), Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Turki, urged all diabetic patients to consult their doctors before performing Haj. He estimated that "more than 300,000 diabetics will perform Haj this year."
Al-Turki said that the increasing percentage of patients during Haj - approximately 10 percent out of the total number of pilgrims - is very dangerous. "We notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Diabetes Federation, as well as embassies around the world to provide guidelines to patients, to ensure all pilgrims have a safe and healthy Haj."
Basem Futa, head of the SDEA information section, said it is important for diabetic patients to maintain their blood sugar and blood pressure level within the recommended range.
"It is essential that diabetic patients visit their doctors and submit themselves to medical examinations before coming to Haj," said Al-Turki.