The number of Nigerian pilgrims who have died at the current Hajj exercise has risen from five to seven, officials have stated.
The chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed, disclosed this in an interview with journalists at Mount Arafat, Saudi Arabia, yesterday.
Mohammed had earlier on Tuesday at the pre-Arafat meeting with Hajj stakeholders announced the death of five Nigerian pilgrims.
Though the identities of the dead pilgrims were not disclosed, the chairman said the pilgrims were from Kwara, Kogi, Katsina and Kaduna states and had died due to natural illness.
“We have lost seven pilgrims due to natural illness. Male and female, particularly from Kwara, Kogi, Katsina, and Kaduna States. No single accident recorded this year. All pilgrims were evacuated in good time.
“We will have to say that, so far, so good. Even the mortality recorded this year is the lowest in the last 10 to 15 years. We pray that will be the end of any mortality that we are going to record, ” he stated.
He expressed optimism that the movement to Mustalifah, back to the pilgrims’ tents and the observation of stoning of the Jamarat will also be well coordinated, peaceful and that the pilgrims will finish their Hajj rites safely.
“Importantly, the commission has introduced an emergency call centre. We have officers who man that call centre 24 hours. So, any pilgrims under any distress situation should call this number 90008251, 920008251,” he said.
He said the commission has a robust, effective and well-coordinated medical team with ambulances stationed in various medical camps to attend to emergency needs of pilgrims.