Over a 100 pilgrims hospitalised in Holy Land

Sofea Chok Suat Ling

MAKKAH: A total of 104 Malaysian pilgrims are hospitalised here for various ailments, while seven have died.

Of the 104 in hospital, 94 are in Tabung Haji medical centres here while the rest are warded in Saudi hospitals.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs, Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, in expressing condolences, said family members of pilgrims who died have been informed.

"They succumbed to, among others, chest infections, heart problems, and in one case cancer," he told Malaysian media at TH headquarters Abraj Al-Janadriyah.

There are two TH medical centres in Makkah - Syisyah Dar Al-Mubarak, which is the biggest, and the clinic at Abraj Al-Janadriyah.

He said the rate of hospitalisation and deaths have been lower compared to the corresponding period in previous years, but cautioned all parties not to be complacent.

"We have more public health specialists going from room-to-room this year who are tasked with identifying pilgrims with health issues. This is the first line of defence."

Pilgrims, he said, should take care as the weather was very hot and they needed to seek early treatment so they would be well during the crucial Masyair period starting this Sunday.

Masyair refers to the massive movement of pilgrims from Makkah to Arafah for wukuf, and then onwards to Muzdalifah, and Mina.

Mujahid said corporations could as part of their CSR efforts contribute towards further upgrading the facilities and equipment at the medical centres in future.

"They could help secure more ambulances for instance, which currently number 20." © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd