The death toll of Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia has risen to 21 from 14, a week before the Hajj rites. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the National Hajj Commission’s weekly public health bulletin ‘No one’ dated October 29, which showed that the male pilgrims had the highest mortality rate of 13.
The bulletin showed that Katsina State had the highest figure of four; Sokoto three, Kano, Lagos, Zamfara and Ogun recorded two deaths each. Oyo, Gombe, Yobe and the Nigerian armed forces recorded one death each. It also stated that 53 patients had been referred to Saudi hospitals with 39 cases recorded in Medina, four in Jeddah and 10 in Mecca. The bulletin stated that 90 per cent of the patients had been discharged.
“So far, no single case of delivery has been reported, however, there are two cases of spontaneous abortion reported from Misfallah Clinic in Mecca by female pilgrims from Sokoto and Adamawa states, all mothers are in satisfactory conditions,’’ it added. The bulletin showed that 7, 496 Nigerian pilgrims had so far visited the six clinics being operated by the medical mission in Jeddah, Medina and Mecca, with common cold and hypertension topping the list of cases reported at the clinics.
It also highlighted the problems faced during the Arafat and Muna operations, blaming the Saudi authority’s poor response to distress calls and blocked road networks to evacuate sick pilgrims by security operatives.
“Late evacuation of refuse bins by Balidiya in state and VIP tents in some cases did not help improve our sanitation efforts,’’ it added.