410000 more pilgrims attended Hajj this year

Thursday, 31 Aug, 2017

Dressed in her ihram, the white head-to-toe dress used for Hajj and Umrah, Ibu Mariah said she had been to Saudi Arabia once before when she was younger - at the age of 90 - to perform the Umrah.

In addition, more than 2,000 Saudi Red Crescent Authority personnel have been deployed in Makkah and Madinah.

The issue seemed resolved two weeks ago when Saudi King Salman temporarily reopened the border and ordered seven planes to pick up pilgrims in Doha.

He however disclosed that one of the deceased hails from Kwara State just as he noted that the death rate for this year's hajj is the lowest in recent times.

But he also urged pilgrims to abide by their assigned schedule for performing the sacred rituals.

To date, Saudi Arabia has welcomed 1.497 million pilgrims in preparation for the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, which is due to begin on August 30, 2017.

There are 221,000 Indonesians in Mecca to perform the rituals.

Another perennial concern is the potential for spreading disease among the pilgrims, who spend five days in close quarters with each other, often eating outside and sleeping on the ground near holy sites.

"Don't forget that today we are speaking of Yemen but they are receiving pilgrims from a lot of endemic countries, and they managed not to have an outbreak, essentially by making sure that living conditions, access to water in particular, hygienic conditions, are in place", Legros told a United Nations briefing group.

They will also slaughter their sacrificial animals and proceed to the Grand Mosque to do tawaf Al-Ifadah, which culminates the rites.

The country has tapped into technology to efficiently monitor pilgrims' well-being and safety, while each pilgrims has received an electronic identification bracelet containing personal and medical information, which allows the Hajj authorities to identify individuals and provide necessary care.

"We have not recorded any cases of cholera among the pilgrims and, if a case arises, the pilgrim would be isolated from others to avoid it spreading", said a health ministry official.

Gerd Nonneman, a professor of International Relations and Gulf Studies at Georgetown University in Qatar, says the Saudi move was "a transparent propaganda stunt".