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Number of heat exhaustion injuries during Haj steadily spikes

Saudi suspends entry of Gulf nationals to Mecca, Medina. Image Source: IANS News

Riyadh, June 20 : The number of heat exhaustion and heatstroke injuries during the Haj pilgrimage this year in a steady spike, Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has confirmed.

In a statement, the Ministry said the number of injuries on Thursday reached 1,721, which was monitored by heat exhaustion centres in all hospitals in Mecca and the Holy Sites, the Saudi Gazette newspaper reported.

It also said that the cause of the injuries resulted from the pilgrims’ failure to adhere to the instructions issued by the Ministry, including the use of an umbrella throughout the day and drinking sufficient amounts of water and fluids.

Among the ways to prevent heat exhaustion and to avoid the risk of heatstroke, the Ministry called on pilgrims to take care not to exhaust themselves with excessive movement without necessity, as well as not to stand for a long time.

This year’s Haj season is witnessing a significant rise in temperatures.

On Thursday, Mecca recorded a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius, while the Holy Site of Mina recorded 44 degrees and each of the two regions recorded a humidity of up to 40 per cent, the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) announced.

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