“IUnfortunately, the death toll reached 1,301, 83% of whom were not allowed to perform Hajj. They traveled long distances under the sun without adequate shelter or comfort,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister, Fahd al Yalayel, confirmed today that the deaths of a total of 1,301 people were recorded during the pilgrimage season to Mecca and the holy sites of Islam, mainly due to high temperatures.

Al Yalayel, cited by the Spanish news agency Efe, highlighted that 83% of those killed did not receive official authorization to carry out the pilgrimage and explained that many of them took long walks on foot, in the sun, without any type of protection or rest.

According to the Ajbar24 news portal, some of them were elderly people suffering from chronic illnesses.

The minister explained that the dead were identified and their families were informed, although he warned that the process could take time, as many were not carrying any type of identification.

The bodies were buried according to custom in Mecca and a death certificate was issued.

The Saudi health system has provided more than 465,000 specialized services, 141,000 of them to unauthorized pilgrims and, in many cases, for heat-related conditions, the minister said in an interview with Saudi television Al Ijbariya.

Many of them remain hospitalized, according to Al Yalayel, who highlighted the work of health personnel and security forces.

The governor highlighted the absence of epidemics and communicable diseases among pilgrims.

Al Yalayel said 95 patients without authorization for the pilgrimage were transferred to Riyadh and other cities to receive free medical care.

Among the health services provided are open heart operations, cardiac catheterizations, dialysis and emergency care, he explained.

The minister highlighted that health care begins even before the start of the pilgrimage trip, as more than 1.3 million preventive services for early detection of diseases, vaccinations and awareness programs have been provided.

Today, the Saudi monarch, Salmán bin Abdulaziz al Saud, and his son and crown prince, Mohamed bin Salmán, congratulated the authorities for the work carried out during this sacred festival for Muslims.

On Friday, the United States confirmed the deaths of “several US citizens” in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj, without, however, providing figures.

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca ended on Wednesday, after five days of religious rituals, marked by high temperatures that reached 51.8 degrees Celsius.

Due to the high price of the trip, with an average cost of 4,600 euros per person, many pilgrims opt for other means that the Saudi kingdom considers illegal.

These unofficial pilgrims do not have access to air-conditioned facilities and tents during the pilgrimage.

Read Also: Egypt suspends licenses of 16 tour operators after deaths in Mecca

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2585241/sobe-para-1301-numero-de-peregrinos-que-morreram-em-peregrinacao-a-meca

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