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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Saudi Arabia registers 1,301 pilgrim deaths during Hajj

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Saudi Arabia announced Sunday it recorded 1,301 deaths among pilgrims during Hajj season, 83 percent of whom were unregistered individuals.

The Saudi Health Minister Fahd Al-Jalajel said that the kingdom’s healthcare sector addressed “numerous” heat stress cases, with some individuals still in medical care, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

“Among the deceased were several elderly and chronically ill individuals,” the minister said, indicating that the heat affected unregistered pilgrims most as they had walked long distances under direct sunlight without adequate shelter or comfort.

All victims have been identified and their families notified, despite the initial lack of personal information or identification documents. Proper processes were followed for identification, burial, and the issuance of death certificates, he added.

Al-Jalajel praised efforts made by the competent authorities to raise heat stress awareness and preparedness among pilgrims facing high temperatures, as well as the support by first responders and the Hajj security forces in handling heat stress cases.

He declared health management during the past Hajj season was a success, “with no recorded outbreaks of epidemics or widespread diseases.”

Notably, the health system provided over 465,000 specialised treatment services ranging from emergency care and surgeries to dialysis, including 141,000 services to those who didn’t obtain official authorisation to perform Hajj.

Approximately 1.3 million preventive services were delivered, including early detection, vaccinations, and medical care upon arrival.

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