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Tag Archive: Hajj


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World | Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:11pm GMT

Reuters
Rescue workers carry the body of a Muslim pilgrim after a stampede at Mina, outside the holy Muslim city of Mecca, in this September 24, 2015 file photo.
Reuters/Stringer/Files

 

The deadly crush that occurred at the haj near Mecca last month killed at least 2,070 people, nearly triple the number accounted for in a death toll maintained by Saudi authorities, a Reuters tally indicated on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia has come under heavy criticism for its handling of the disaster. Safety during the pilgrimage is a politically sensitive issue for the kingdom’s ruling Al Saud dynasty, which presents itself as the guardian of Islam and custodian of its holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.

The figure, based on information provided by the state and religious authorities and local media reports in the home countries of the victims, would make it the worst such catastrophe to befall the annual pilgrimage since 1,400 people were crushed to death in a tunnel in 1990.

Saudi officials have stood by their official counts of 769 dead and 934 injured, which have not been updated since two days after the crush. The healthy ministry has said any discrepancies in death tolls may stem from countries counting pilgrims who had died of natural causes.

 

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Airplane landing

Thinkstock / Photodisc

European and Spanish health officials released new details today about a Spanish woman who is hospitalized with a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection after visiting Hajj holy sites in Saudi Arabia, plus efforts under way to identify those who flew with her from Jeddah to Madrid.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today in an updated risk assessment that the 61-year-old woman with no known underlying health conditions was in Saudi Arabia from Oct 2 to Nov 1. She visited Medina, then Mecca and had no known contact with animals.

Her symptoms began Oct 15 with cough and fever, and she was seen at a hospital emergency department of a Mecca hospital on Oct 28 and 29, where health workers diagnosed her as having pneumonia, based on chest x-ray findings.

Spain’s health ministry told CIDRAP News that it has relayed more details about the case to European health authorities, including that the woman refused to be hospitalized in Saudi Arabia and was hospitalized in Madrid on Nov 1 when she arrived back in Spain.

According to the ECDC, the patient was sick during the flight and needed oxygen treatment while she was aboard.

The health ministry said she was in Medina from Oct 2 through Oct 10 and in Mecca from Oct 11 through Nov 1.

The patient is still listed in stable condition and has not required intensive care, according to the health ministry.  She was placed in a private room on Nov 1, and her medical team instituted respiratory isolation measures on Nov 4 when they suspected the woman was infected with MERS-CoV.

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Nov 06, 2013

Spain’s health ministry today reported the country’s first Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) case, in a woman who had spent October in Saudi Arabia, a development that raises questions about possible exposure at the recent Hajj pilgrimage.

The woman is a Spanish resident who was born in Morocco and was admitted to a Madrid hospital on Nov 1, where she is in stable condition, according to a health ministry statement posted in Spanish. The virus was confirmed in samples tested at the country’s National Microbiology Center.

Spain’s health ministry said it considers the infection an imported case that doesn’t pose a public health risk to Spain, which is now the fifth European country to report an imported MERS-CoV case, in addition to Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. All of the imported infections occurred in people who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia or other Middle Eastern countries.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official told the Canadian Press today that the woman with MERS-CoV performed the Hajj pilgrimage, got sick in Saudi Arabia, and flew back to Spain where she was hospitalized and tested. Anthony Mounts, MD, the WHO’s technical lead for MERS-CoV, said it’s not clear yet if the woman took a commercial flight or came back on a charter plane, according to the story.

Spain’s health ministry said it and Madrid health officials are identifying all of the woman’s close contacts, based on national and international procedures.

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Saudi Arabia floods leave 77 dead

Hajj pilgrims negotiate flooded street

The Saudi authorities have warned pilgrims to take care in the rain

Floods in Saudi Arabia have killed 77 people and scores could be missing, after the heaviest rainfall in years.

None of the casualties had been among the millions attending the Hajj pilgrimage, said a spokesman for the Saudi interior ministry.

Heavy rainstorms on Wednesday had hampered the start of the annual Muslim event in the city of Mecca.

The flood deaths were in the port city of Jeddah, Rabigh and Mecca, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

It quotes officials as saying the deaths had been caused by flooding and collapsed homes. Witnesses said many of the victims were trapped in cars and buses.

Twenty-one of the dead were Saudis and the rest were foreign immigrants resident in the country, said Jeddah civil defence chief Abdullah al-Amri, quoted by the Associated Press.

The floods hit particularly hard in the shantytowns around the city, he added.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Flooding

Mohammed Ballas / AP

Palestinians cross a road flooded and swept away by heavy rains in the northern West Bank village of Kabatyeh, on Jan. 9. A Palestinian official says the fiercest storm to hit the area in a decade has claimed the lives of two West Bank women who drowned after their car was caught in a flash flood unleashed by torrential rains.

09.01.2013 Flash Flood Palestinian Territory Multiple areas, [Statewide] Damage level
Details

Flash Flood in Palestinian Territory on Wednesday, 09 January, 2013 at 09:39 (09:39 AM) UTC.

Description
A Palestinian official says the fiercest storm to hit the area in a decade has claimed the lives of two West Bank women who drowned after their car was caught in a flash flood unleashed by torrential rains. Nablus deputy governor Annan Atirah says the women abandoned their vehicle after it got stuck on a flooded road Tuesday. He says the bodies, apparently swept away by surging waters, were found Wednesday, and the car’s driver was hospitalized in critical condition. In Gaza, civil defense spokesman Mohammed al-Haj Yousef said storms have cut electricity powering thousands of homes and rescuers were sent to evacuate dozens of people. Parts of Israel were bracing for snow a day after the military was forced to send helicopters and rubber dinghies to rescue stranded residents.

 

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

World News  :  Global Community – Religion – Pilgrimage

Nigeria angered by Saudi Hajj deportation

Nigeria angered by Saudi Hajj deportation

Some 95 000 Nigerian Muslims are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage later this month, along with some 3 million other pilgrims from around the world.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Nigerian authorities have displayed their anger at the deportation of more women by Saudi Arabian authorities, as they arrived in the Kingdom to travel to Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The latest round of deportations from Saudi Arabia had seen 43 more being deported, for not having a male escort or chaperon – a requirement for the performance of the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj.

Last week, Nigeria moved to suspend all Hajj flights bound for Saudi Arabia, after more than 1000 women were denied entry into the Kingdom, detained and then deported back to Nigeria.

However, flights to Jeddah and Medina resumed on Sunday, after Nigerian officials said that they had solved most of the administrative problems.

According to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, more male escorts will be accompanying female pilgrims on the same flights.

Previously there were agreements made between the Saudi Hajj Ministry and Hajj officials from Nigeria, whereby
Saudi officials would allow female pilgrims entry, despite being alone or not carrying their husband’s names – which is common in the West African country.

Nigerian Hajj authorities and government officials have formally launched a complaint with the Saudi government about this issue, in the capital Riyadh.

Some 95 000 Nigerian Muslims are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage later this month, along with some 3 million other pilgrims from around the world.

Health And Wellness Report

World News  : Diseases – Prevention

Saudi ‘take steps to thwart epidemic’ at hajj

Aerial view shows Muslim pilgrims walking around the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque of the holy city of Mecca during the annual hajj pilgrimage in November 2011. Saudi Arabia says it has taken measures to deal with any epidemic that may break out during the annual hajj pilgrimage, with a minister stressing that the spread of a mystery illness from the same family as the deadly SARS virus was "limited".

Aerial view shows Muslim pilgrims walking around the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque of the holy city of Mecca during the annual hajj pilgrimage in November 2011. Saudi Arabia says it has taken measures to deal with any epidemic that may break out during the annual hajj pilgrimage, with a minister stressing that the spread of a mystery illness from the same family as the deadly SARS virus was “limited”.

AFP – Saudi Arabia has taken measures to deal with any epidemic that may break out during the annual hajj pilgrimage, a minister said in remarks published Monday, stressing that the spread of a mystery illness from the same family as the deadly SARS virus was “limited.”

The kingdom has taken “preventive measures towards pilgrims … and has made practical and scientific arrangements to deal with any epidemic that might be discovered,” Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabeeah was quoted as saying in Al-Hayat daily.

Pilgrims in their thousands have begun arriving in the kingdom for this month’s hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam which must be performed at least once in a lifetime by all Muslims who are able to do so.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) has identified a virus which caused the death of a Saudi national as being of the corona-virus family.

It has also left a Qatari man seriously ill in a London hospital after he was transferred there from Doha earlier last month, the WHO said, adding that he had previously been in Saudi Arabia.

The two cases occurred three months apart in June and September, said the WHO, stressing that the illness is not Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome which swept out of China in 2003, killing more than 800 people worldwide.

What sets the new virus apart from SARS, the UN health agency added, is that it causes rapid kidney failure.

The WHO has said it is advising Saudi Arabia ahead of the hajj.

“The spread of the corona-virus which has lately registered two cases is still limited,” Rabeeah said.

He said the “the virus has no vaccine on a global level and has no treatment,” but added that the tens of thousands of pilgrims who have already arrived in the kingdom for the world’s largest annual religious gathering had not been touched by any epidemics.

A Danish hospital said in August it had isolated five people with symptoms of a viral respiratory illness pending the result of tests.

Odense University hospital said those admitted were a family of four where the father had been to Saudi Arabia, and an unrelated person who had been to Qatar.

Two of the patients were children under five.

Last year, nearly three million Muslim pilgrims performed the hajj.