Hajj 2024: Death toll of Ghanaians increases to 8

Source The Ghana Report

Six Ghanaian Hajj pilgrims have lost their lives in Mecca due to the severe heatwave that struck Saudi Arabia this week.

This latest development increases the death toll among Ghanaian pilgrims to eight, as two were earlier reported dead due to various health complications.

The deaths of the six Ghanaian pilgrims were confirmed by the Spokesperson for the Hajj Board, Abdul Rahman Alhassan Gomba, during an interview.

The deceased persons, believed to be residents of Madina, were unable to withstand the harsh weather conditions, which soared to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.8 degrees Celsius) during the week.

“The temperature was so high—above 41 degrees Celsius,” Gomba stated.

“They asked the authorities to confine us to our camps between noon and 4 p.m. Saudi time. Later, we heard that some Georgians lost their lives in town.

“At the time, we didn’t even know that some Ghanaians were also going to lose their lives under the conditions said to be related to the heat waves that swept across Saudi Arabia on the day,” he added in an interview on Citi FM.

He discounted reports that 13 Ghanaians had died.

He added that some of the deceased persons include people who travelled with non-Hajj visas.

“The forensic centre at the morgue, where the corpses are kept before being buried, had only managed to get six nationals from Ghana.

“When I asked him how they were doing it, they told me they were using fingerprints, and it was a laborious task,” Gomba explained.

He concluded, “So, it will take days before the number of Ghanaians who died as a result of the heat wave will be established.

“Currently, we can say six people died during the heat wave, even though an autopsy report is not yet out regarding the subject”.

According to the AFP report, the heatwave claimed at least 1,081 lives.

In response to the situation, Saudi Arabia authorities have urged all pilgrims to stay within their tents during peak heat hours, between noon and 4 p.m. local time.

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