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Saudi authorities have started installing easy-to-use life-saving devices in the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, local media said.

The automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are being installed in the third extension of the holy site, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.

The device installation is being carried by the Finance Ministry’s Projects Directorate Office in conjunction with the Saudi Red Crescent Authority.

“Scientific studies have proved that these devices increase survival chances in cases of cardiac arrest and breathing pause,” the office’s acting head Meshal Dahi said.

The official added that handling these devices does not require medical background. “It just needs some simple training in use and handling cases,” he added.

The  Red Crescent Authority will provide the necessary training to large numbers of security employees posted at the expansion project, he said without giving specific figures.

In October, Saudi authorities allowed the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina to operate at full capacity, easing restrictions prompted by COVID-19.

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