Egypt facilitates return of Hajj pilgrims, repatriation of deceased ones



Thu, 20 Jun 2024 - 12:05 GMT


Thu, 20 Jun 2024 - 12:05 GMT

Pilgrims perform prayers ahead of the Hajj season 1445 AH – Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

Pilgrims perform prayers ahead of the Hajj season 1445 AH – Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

CAIRO – 20 June 2024: Cairo is coordinating the safe return of Egyptian Hajj pilgrims and the repatriation of the deceased individuals whose families wish to bury them in Egypt.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Emigration announced that the Egyptian consulate in Jeddah has established a 24/7 operations room to receive phone calls from citizens who have lost contact with their relatives in Makkah, Madinah, and the holy sites.

The operations room can be reached at (00966565702002).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also provided dedicated phone numbers for citizens to report missing Hajj pilgrims and request the repatriation of deceased pilgrims.

The numbers are as follows: (27923050 – 27923060 – 27942782 – 01006638814).

Many deaths

According to an Arab diplomat who spoke to Agence France-Presse (AFP), this year's Hajj season has been marred by the deaths of at least 600 Egyptian pilgrims, primarily due to the extremely high temperatures.

This brings the total deaths among pilgrims this year to more than 900, according to an AFP tally.

The diplomat stated that Egyptian officials in the Kingdom has received 1,400 reports of missing pilgrims.

The Hajj pilgrimage, which took place in the year 1445 AH, attracted nearly 2 million pilgrims who endured scorching heat.

On Monday, temperatures in Makkah reached a staggering 52 degrees Celsius, as reported by Saudi Arabia's National Center for Meteorology (NCM).

One of the diplomats interviewed by AFP emphasized that the significant presence of unregistered Egyptian pilgrims this season has played a substantial role in the high death toll among Egyptians.

The influx of unregistered pilgrims has resulted in a breakdown of service provision.

An Egyptian official overseeing the country's Hajj mission stated, "The presence of irregular pilgrims created immense chaos in the Egyptian pilgrims' camps, leading to a collapse in the services provided."

He further explained that the pilgrims were deprived of essential necessities such as food, water, and adequate shelter, which resulted in fatalities due to the extreme heat.



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