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9,755 pilgrims sick, treated as 2.3m complete Hajj rites

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The health centers in Mina has received and treated as many as 9,755 pilgrims, authorities of Saudi Arabia said as 2.3 million pilgrims including the 55, 000 from Nigeria completed the Hajj rites yesterday, Thursday. On Wednesday, the first of the three Tashriq days, more than 2.3 million pilgrims, popular Saudi newspaper reported, continued to throw stones at the Satan replica and proceeding from the Jamarat area to the Grand Mosque in Makkah to do tawaf Al-Ifada.

The pilgrims, on Tuesday, the Eid Al-Adha day, slaughtered their sacrificial animals, pebbled the Jamarat Al-Aqaba with seven stones each, shaved off their hair and changed into plain clothes. “Every pilgrim would be stoning the three replicas with a total of 21 stones, seven for each, and would repeat the same ritual the next day (Thursday),” Saudi Gazette reported.

“The pilgrims had to leave Mina for Makkah before sunset on Thursday if they are in a hurry otherwise they will have to complete their stay for three days in Mina on Friday before their Haj is officially over,” the newspaper read. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has announced that as many as 192 phony Haj offices were nabbed and their owners will be tried. The ministry warned the pilgrims against falling prey to these offices, which will only embezzle their funds without giving them any service in return.

The ministry also said more than 900,000 irregular pilgrims were returned from the various entry points to Makkah and the holy sites in addition to 253,000 vehicles. On the other hand, the Ministry of Health said it established 16 health centers in the Jamarat area to provide health care to the stone throwers. The health centers in Mina on Tuesday alone received and treated as many as 9,755 pilgrims. The ministry has employed about 30,000 medical cadres consisting of doctors, pharmacists, nurses, technicians and administrators.

They work in about 25 hospitals in Makkah and the holy sites. The ministry also has 135 mobile and permanent health centers, which, together with the hospitals, have a combined capacity of 5,000 beds. Dust storm accompanied by moderate rain was experienced in Arafat on Sunday evening. The holy site also witnessed extreme temperature and high humidity on Monday, the day of standing at Arafat, the main pillar of the annual pilgrimage of Haj.

Meanwhile, Col. Muhammad Al-Qamash, spokesman of the Civil Defense Directorate, said that Sunday’s sandstorm in Arafat did not affect the safety of pilgrims. “There were slight damages to a limited number of tents and they have been restored to the normal state. The overall situation at the holy sites is stable,” he said while urging pilgrims to follow safety instructions that have been issued by the authorities.

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