Egypt establishes field teams to search for missing Hajj pilgrims in Saudi hospitals



Thu, 20 Jun 2024 - 12:40 GMT


Thu, 20 Jun 2024 - 12:40 GMT

FILE - Pilgrims perform prayers as part of the Hajj season 1445 AH – Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

FILE - Pilgrims perform prayers as part of the Hajj season 1445 AH – Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

CAIRO – 20 June 2024: Cairo has announced the establishment of consulate field teams to conduct visits to hospitals in Makkah and the holy sites to search for missing Egyptian pilgrims, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The field teams are tasked to gather information on pilgrims in these hospitals, whether those receiving treatment or deceased, and cross-referencing it with the data provided by the families of those reported missing.

The teams are also ensuring the necessary care is being provided to the patients.

Additionally, a consular mission has been stationed at the East Arafat Hospital and the Muaisem medical complex around the clock.

The General Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah has maintained continuous and ongoing coordination with the official Egyptian Hajj mission in Saudi Arabia since before the start of the Hajj days, the ministry said.

This consulate has worked to ensure the provision of comprehensive medical care, necessary preparations, and arrangements for receiving Egyptian pilgrims and monitoring their conditions.

However, the ministry said that unregistered Egyptian pilgrims, available in significant numbers this year, has made the mission harder.

“The presence of a large number of Egyptian citizens who are not registered in the Hajj database requires extra effort and more time to locate the missing individuals and contact their families,” the ministry said.

The ministry has established emergency rooms for rapid response, operational 24/7. Citizens can contact them using the following numbers:

Egyptian Consulate Emergency Room in Jeddah:

Consular Sector Emergency Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

On Tuesday, Egypt’s tourism Hajj mission said it has successfully located 142 lost Egyptian pilgrims, reported the Middle East News Agency (MENA).

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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