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Six of the 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims for this year’s hajj exercise have died of cardiac arrest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The head of the Nigerian medical team for the pilgrimage, Dr Usman Galadima, disclosed this in Makkah on Saturday night during a pre-Arafat meeting with stakeholders.

He said his team had so far treated a total of 15,860 pilgrims for musculoskeletal disorders, common cold, peptic ulcer, hypertension, and malaria. Over 100 other pilgrims, he added, were referred to hospitals in Saudi Arabia.

He also said 30 other Nigerian pilgrims diagnosed as having mental health challenges had been referred to Saudi hospitals and would perform hajj as they “are now in a stable condition.”

Galadima also stated that a diabetic pilgrim had his leg amputated. He recommended strengthening the pre-hajj medical screening of intending pilgrims and restricting the travelling of all pilgrims identified as unfit to travel, especially elderly ones and those with chronic ailments.

He said his team recorded two miscarriages, one delivery, and seven pregnancies among the pilgrims; two from Sokoto State and one each from Adamawa, Kwara, Yobe, Plateau, and Katsina.

Meanwhile, the NAHCON, midnight Sunday, began moving pilgrims to Muna, which is about nine kilometres on the outskirts of Makkah, from where they will proceed to Mount Arafat Tuesday morning.

The coordinator of the NAHCON’s committee for the movement, Aliyu Abubakar Tanko, said this was to ease the transportation of pilgrims and avoid congestion on the roads

He said the Saudi authorities had put measures in place to ensure “zero or at least a minimal casualty figure when it becomes inevitable during the movement to and the symbolic stoning of the devil, the Jamrah.”

Tanko enjoined the pilgrims to strictly abide by the guidelines of the Saudi Jamarãt master plan.

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