900 Pilgrims Dead, Including 68 Indians, During Hajj As Temperature In Mecca Touches 51.8 Degrees Celsius

These deaths have also been confirmed by Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, though in many cases authorities have not specified the cause.

Jun 20, 2024 - 09:30
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900 Pilgrims Dead, Including 68 Indians, During Hajj As Temperature In Mecca Touches 51.8 Degrees Celsius

Mecca: Amid rising temperature, over 900 pilgrims died, including 68 Indians, during Hajj pilgrimage as temperature in Mecca touched 51.8 Degrees Celsius, a diplomat in Saudi Arabia said.  “We have confirmed around 68 dead… Some are because of natural causes and we had many old-age pilgrims. And some are due to the weather conditions, that’s what we assume,” the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The death toll from the holy city of Mecca comes after two Arab diplomats told the news agency that 550 deaths had been recorded during the hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam that all Muslims with the means must perform at least once.

These deaths have also been confirmed by Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, though in many cases authorities have not specified the cause.

Earlier this week, the Saudi Health Ministry reported 2,764 cases of heat stress on the first day of Eid Al Adha and Saudi Health Minister Fahd Al-Jalajel urged pilgrims to avoid peak summer hours (11 AM to 4 PM) when performing their remaining Hajj rituals.

He had also urged them to avoid direct sun exposure and stay away from hot surfaces, stressing that prevention is key.

The ministry’s spokesperson reported that 2,764 cases of heat stress were treated on the first day of Eid.

“Pilgrims have undertaken a tremendous journey to perform Hajj,” said the spokesperson as quoted by Saudi Pres Agency (SPA).

“Our role is to support them fully. We believe in prevention before treatment. We urge pilgrims to follow safety guidelines, such as using umbrellas during rituals and staying hydrated.”

The spokesperson further reassured the public that the overall health of pilgrims remains positive.

No significant public health challenges or disease outbreaks have been reported. The ministry also reminded pilgrims of symptoms of heat stress and sunstroke, including nausea, headache, excessive sweating, and severe sneezing.

Muscle fatigue from frequent movement and walking long distances is another potential concern. To prevent this, the ministry advises pilgrims to rest after completing each ritual, avoid carrying heavy items, wear comfortable shoes, and drink water before performing rituals.

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