The West Java Religious Affairs Office has confirmed that the 90 umrah (minor haj) pilgrims who left for Saudi Arabia on Feb. 27 from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport had safely returned to Indonesia.”The latest information we’ve received is that the 90 pilgrims had indeed departed [for Saudi Arabia], but they have [since] returned,” the office’s haj and umrah head, Ajam Mustajam, told The Jakarta Post by phone on Thursday, seven days after the pilgrims were reported as “missing”.The 90 Indonesians had departed on umrah one day before Saudi Arabia announced a temporary ban on all umrah pilgrims in a measure to “limit the spread of the coronavirus epidemic and prevent its access to the Two Holy Mosques”, as quoted in TIME.On Feb. 28, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia listed Indonesia as one of the countries whose citizens were barred from visiting the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as part of its prevention measures.The decision left thousands of Indonesians stranded – some already en route to Saudi Arabia and others who had already checked in at airports around the country.Ajam said that 790 umrah pilgrims from West Java were initially scheduled to depart on Feb. 27. When he was contacted again on March 3, however, Ajam said that only 700 had returned to the country and claimed not to know the whereabouts of the other 90 pilgrims.Ajam clarified on March 5 that the 90 Indonesians had used the services of a travel agency in West Java, and were not part of the official group of pilgrims from the province.“It is not because of an error in the system,” he stressed, referring to the integrated umrah and haj computerized system that maintains records on all pilgrims traveling on the government-sponsored program.“Their whereabouts were being tracked, but the regional office received the information late,” he said.Ajam said that the office was now focusing on serving people who needed the required haj documents and extending or issuing new for umrah and haj permits at the 187 umrah and haj travel agencies in the province. (eyc)Topics :
…following flooding at Leonora Cottage HospitalRegion Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) officials and the Minister within the Public Health Minister, Dr Karen Cummings took the decision to temporarily close the Leonora Diagnostic Centre following flooding of the facility’s lower flat. The hospital is inundated with at least 14 inches of water after extreme high tides overtopped the seawalls in some areas along the West Coast of Demerara (WCD).Following an assessment by Minister Cummings and the Regional Health Officer, it was determined that the Mildred Cox-Younge Health Centre, also known as the Den Amstel Health Centre, over the next three to seven days will function in place of the Leonora facility, facilitating outpatients as well as emergency cases, while the West Demerara Regional Hospital will take the more serious cases.Senior Health Visitor (ag) at the health centre, Bhagpattie Ramnarine pointed out that the health centre’s capacity is adequate to address the needs of the nearby communities, as well as the affected hospital in the interim, while the Leonora Diagnostic Centre remains closed.The flooded eye care centre at the Leonora Diagnostic CentreAccording to Regional Health Officer of Region Three, Ravindra Dudhnauth, the Mildred Cox-Younge Health Centre has been open on a 24-hour basis, offering the same services that would have been accessible at the Leonora Diagnostic Centre except for X-rays and lab work. Those services, he said, will be diverted to the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH).Minister Cummings, who visited both the Leonora and Den Amstel facilities, said, “I was on spot to see the damage that has been done after the flooding caused by extreme high tides… We were able to mobilise a team – Public Health working with CDC – so we were able to address the situation very quickly.”Most of the lower flat of the Leonora Diagnostic Centre was affected, including the male and female observation wards, the sterilisation room, the Accident and Emergency Unit, the Eye Care Unit and both the old and new health centre units. The operating theatre on the ground floor was unaffected.Meanwhile, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) led by Director General (ag) Colonel Kester Craig has been mobilised to render assistance to the staff of the Leonora Diagnostic Centre. The Guyana Fire Service (GFC) has also deployed 51 ranks to assist in the clean-up process at the hospital.There is another high tide expected which is said to be higher than the ones previously experienced. To this end, the CDC has acquired sandbags to fortify the hospital as well as to be distributed to residents along the affected coast to prevent further flooding and damage.