A Saudi medical team from the King Abdullah Medical City in Mecca rescued an Iranian Hajj pilgrim who suffered from severe angina pectoris while he was heading to the Grand Mosque to perform prayers, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
The Iranian pilgrim in his sixties, suffering from severe chest pain, underwent urgent diagnostic catheterization with full examinations, along with CT scans which showed that more than two arteries in the heart had been blocked, causing severe angina pectoris.
The medical team first decided to perform an open-heart surgery, which the pilgrim refused after consulting with the doctor of his Hajj campaign. The team then finally decided to install stents for the blocked arteries.
The patient has gotten better and is set to be dispatched from the hospital to complete his Hajj rituals.
The Kingdom’s health ministry confirmed that the Medical City is prepared to provide high quality healthcare services to all pilgrims and visitors throughout the Hajj season.
The Hajj season began on July 1, marking the first post-pandemic pilgrimage season after two years of major disruption caused by COVID-19.
Wrapped in white robes, with some carrying umbrellas against the burning desert sun, hundreds performed the first ritual of the Hajj, which involves walking in a circle around the Kaaba, the sacred building at the center of Mecca’s Grand Mosque.
Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, has enabled foreign travelers to perform Hajj this year. Only a few thousand Saudi citizens and residents attended the annual pilgrimage in the last two years as COVID-19 wreaked havoc across the global economy and curtailed travel.