98 Indians died of natural causes, accident during Hajj pilgrimage: Govt

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said 1,75,000 Indian pilgrims have visited Hajj this year.

Livemint
Updated21 Jun 2024, 05:51 PM IST
Muslim pilgrims use umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun as they arrive at the base of Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma or Mount of Mercy, during the annual hajj pilgrimage on June 15, 2024.
Muslim pilgrims use umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun as they arrive at the base of Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma or Mount of Mercy, during the annual hajj pilgrimage on June 15, 2024. (AFP)

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed on Friday that 98 Indian pilgrims died during the Hajj this year. MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “This year, 1,75,000 Indian pilgrims have visited Hajj so far... and so far we have lost 98 of our citizens.”

“These deaths have happened on account of natural illness, natural causes, chronic illness, and old age. On the day of Arafat, six Indians died, and four Indians have died on account of accidents,” Jaiswal said. He added that many died due to heatwave on the day of Arafat.

The MEA spokesperson said 187 Indians had died during Hajj last year.

When asked about the actions taken by the Indian government, Jaiswal said, "We instantly speak with the kin of those affected and take necessary probe and action required."

As per an AFP report, the death toll from this year's Hajj has exceeded 1,000. It stated that the new deaths reported on June 20 included 58 from Egypt, according to an Arab diplomat who provided a breakdown showing that of 658 Egyptians who died, 630 were unregistered pilgrims.

Around 10 countries reported 1,081 deaths during the pilgrimage, the AFP reported. The pilgrimage involved hours of walking and praying in a country where temperatures reached 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) this week.

The Hajj has recently been taking place in the sweltering Saudi summer. According to research released last month, the area where the rituals are performed experiences an increase in temperature of 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 degrees Fahrenheit) every 10 years.

During an activity such as the Hajj, where pilgrims spend hours outdoors in the sun, “the body can quickly become exhausted and can no longer find the reserves of water needed to perspire”, Pieter Vancamp, a neurobiologist at the French research institute INRAE, was quoted as saying.

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First Published:21 Jun 2024, 05:51 PM IST
HomeNewsIndia98 Indians died of natural causes, accident during Hajj pilgrimage: Govt

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