Five Nigerian pilgrims have so far died in Saudi Arabia, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said yesterday.
NAHCON’s head of the medical team, Dr Ibrahim Kana, who disclosed this at a pre-Arafat meeting with stakeholders, also said that a female pilgrim gave birth, while another had a miscarriage.
“I don’t want to name the state but she was 38 weeks pregnant and she even had baby things in her bag during screening but she was allowed to travel,” he said.
Checks by Daily Trust showed that the pilgrim was from Kogi State.
Kana described the pre-Arafat deaths as the lowest in years.
NAHCON has called on states operating illegal clinics for pilgrims at the ongoing hajj to immediately shut such facilities or face disciplinary action.
NAHCON Chairman, Abdullahi Mukhtar gave the warning yesterday, saying the commission already operates eight clinics as required by Saudi Arabia authorities. “We know the states involved in this and we call on them to immediately close down such illegal clinics. If they refuse, we will take action against them and we will report them to the highest authority in Nigeria.”
Dr Kana said Kogi and the entire south-west states were operating illegal clinics.
Meanwhile, as pilgrims move to Mina today, NAHCON has provided a helpline in case of emergency during the hajj rites at Mina, Muzdhalifa and Arafat.
The commission chairman also directed all states pilgrims welfare boards to open dedicated lines in case of emergencies.