Thousands suffer heat strokes on Hajj as temperatures soar: Saudi officials.

More than 2,000 people suffered heat stress during the hajj pilgrimage, Saudi officials said as per news agency AFP. Temperatures soared to 48 degrees Celsius during the annual rites as over 1.8 million worshippers performed the days-long hajj. Many elderly were among the pilgrims after a Covid-era maximum age limit was scrapped, officials said.

About 1,700 heat stress cases were recorded on Thursday alone, the Saudi health ministry said. “The number of heat stress cases since the beginning of this day has reached 1,721,” the ministry said, urging people to stay out of the sun and drink plenty of water.

At least 230 people, many from Indonesia, died during the pilgrimage, according to numbers announced by various countries which did not list causes of death, AFP reported. According to the consul general of Indonesia at least 209 Indonesians died during the hajj. “It is inaccurate to say that a lot of Indonesian pilgrims died because of heat strokes,” the consul general said acknowledging that some pilgrims had “fainted” during the pilgrimage “because of the heat”.

Eight Algerians and four Moroccans died, officials said, while an Egypt said eight pilgrims from the country had passed away.

This comes as Saudi Arabia dispatched thousands of paramedics and set up field hospitals to help the pilgrims amid the biggest hajj this year since 2.5 million visitors came in pre-Covid 2019.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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