Saudi Arabia confirmed 1301 pilgrims died during Hajj

Saudi Arabia has reported over 1,300 deaths during the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage, predominantly among unauthorized pilgrims who faced extreme heat without adequate shelter.

Health Minister Fahad Al Jalajel disclosed that 83% of the deceased lacked official permits and had to walk long distances under the scorching sun. Currently, 95 unauthorized pilgrims are receiving treatment in hospitals.

Most fatalities were due to heat-related issues, affecting people from over ten different countries. Egyptians were the most impacted, with 658 deaths reported. During the pilgrimage, temperatures in Makkah reached up to 51.8°C (125°F), exacerbating the dangers faced by the pilgrims.

The Saudi government has defended its handling of the situation, asserting that many pilgrims underestimated the severe risks posed by the intense heat and strenuous conditions. Despite the government’s efforts to manage the pilgrimage and provide support, the lack of proper permits among many pilgrims resulted in inadequate access to shelter and medical care.

Saudi officials have emphasized the necessity of adhering to regulations and obtaining the necessary permits to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants in future pilgrimages. They also reiterated their commitment to improving conditions and resources to better handle the large influx of pilgrims and the challenges associated with extreme weather conditions.

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