Humanitarian Crisis: 1,301 Deaths During Hajj in Saudi Arabia

Humanitarian Crisis 1,301 Deaths During Hajj in Saudi Arabia

According to Saudi Arabia, at least 1,301 people died while doing the Hajj, the majority of them were unapproved pilgrims who traveled great distances in sweltering heat.

The trip this year happened to coincide with a heatwave, with highs of over 50C (122F).

According to the official Saudi news agency SPA, over 75% of the deceased lacked valid permission to be there and were walking in the open heat without sufficient shade.

The organization also stated that some of the deceased were elderly or had long-term illnesses.

It has been attempted to increase knowledge of the risks of heat stress and ways pilgrims might reduce it, according to Health Minister Fahd Al-Jalajel.

Nearly half a million pilgrims were treated in medical facilities, he claimed, with over 140,000 of them not having a permit. Some pilgrims were still in the hospital suffering from heat exhaustion.

“May Allah forgive and have mercy on the deceased. Our heartfelt condolences go to their families,” he stated.

Saudi Arabia has come under fire for not doing more to ensure the safety of pilgrims performing the Hajj, particularly those who are unregistered and lack access to official Hajj transportation and air-conditioned tents.

Read Also: Hajj Pilgrims Face Deadly Heat: 120°F Temperatures Cause Hundreds of Deaths in Mecca

The national meteorological center of Saudi Arabia reports that temperatures in Mecca reached as high as 51.8C.

While nations all around the world have been providing updates on the number of their nationals that have passed away, Saudi Arabia has not, until Sunday, made any public remarks about the deaths or disclosed an official death toll.

According to an Arab ambassador cited by the AFP news agency, 658 Egyptians had perished. More than 200 Indonesian nationals were reported killed, compared to 98 Indian fatalities.

There have also been confirmed killings in Pakistan, Malaysia, Jordan, Iran, Senegal, Sudan, and the autonomous Kurdistan area of Iraq.

The Hajj is the annual journey that Muslims do to Mecca, the holy city. At least once in their lives, every Muslim who is able to do so both materially and physically must make the journey.

This year’s participation topped 1.8 million, according to Saudi Arabia. The ramifications of the increasing death toll, especially those of unapproved pilgrims, have been intensifying.

The management of sixteen tourism businesses were reported to prosecutors by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Saturday for facilitating unauthorized pilgrimages to Mecca, and the enterprises’ licenses were revoked.

Jordan announced on Friday that it has arrested a number of travel brokers who let Muslim pilgrims visit Mecca without permission. In the meantime, the minister of religious affairs was fired by Tunisian President Kais Saied.

Hajj visas are given out by lottery to people and are dispersed to countries based on a quota system.

Many attempt to participate without a permit, nevertheless, due to the associated costs; if discovered, they run the possibility of being arrested and deported.

Thousands of unauthorized pilgrims had been driven out of Mecca, according to Saudi authorities prior to the Hajj.


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