CAIRO: Four days before hajj, the death toll of Egyptians in Saudi Arabia reached 10, the latest of whom passed away on Wednesday after suffering heart palpitations due to exhaustion and kidney failure, announced the Ministry of Health.
Those who passed away include four from the lottery pilgrimage programs, as well as a representative from the Ministry of Health.
The head of Egypt’s pilgrimage delegation this year is Minister of Higher Education Hany Helal, who said that there haven’t been any complaints from the pilgrims this year except waiting for long hours at the airport for standard procedures, which was anticipated due to the large number of pilgrims, according to the official news portal Egynews.net.
Until Thursday, more than 72,000 Egyptian pilgrims had arrived in Mecca, in addition to 5,000 in Medina.
Helal said that the Saudi authorities will take the Egyptian patients who are hospitalized up to Arafat to perform the hajj in ambulances. The minister visited the 10 patients who are currently residing in Al Noor Hospital in Mecca.
This year, the Ministry of Health will not set up health quarantine facilities at the Cairo International Airport, unlike last year when pilgrims were examined upon their arrival. According to the ministry’s press office, last year there was the global pandemic H1N1, known as the swine flu, however this year there is no need to carry out any addition health measures.
Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, second deputy premier of the Saudi minister of interior and chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee, said at press conference Wednesday that the relevant authorities have made all arrangements to serve the pilgrims, protect their health and facilitate them in every manner during hajj, stated the Saudi Gazette.
“Every year, Saudi Arabia conducts studies to face any kind of diseases or viruses during hajj,” he said.
He noted that they are also working to ensure pilgrims are not affected by illnesses that can affect large gatherings.