The National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) has said 14 Nigerian pilgrims who travelled for this year’s exercise have died in Saudi Arabia.
NAHCON’s chief of operations and medical team lead, Usman Galadima, speaking during a post-Arafat meeting with stakeholders on Sunday in Makkah, disclosed that two women gave birth in Saudi Arabia.
Galadima said three cases of chickenpox have been recorded, adding that the pilgrims have been isolated to avoid a spread.
“We had six reported deaths at Mashair, four died in Arafat and the other two died in Minna.
“Already, we lost seven pilgrims before Arafat and just now I have been informed that we lost another pilgrim. This brings the total number of deaths recorded to 14. “The mortality rate is similar to that of 2019.”
He stressed the importance of a thorough pre-hajj medical screening with the issuance of a certificate of medical fitness for intending pilgrims.
He said elderly persons and those that are very sick should be discouraged from participating in the symbolic devil stoning at Jamrat because of the stress involved.
Meanwhile, Goni Sanda, the commission’s head of aviation, said airlifting pilgrims back to Nigeria will commence on July 4.