The Saudi Ministry of Health has listed Muslims from all over the world that will not be welcome to participate in this year’s pilgrimage.
They include those who are above 65 years, those with chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and pilgrims with immune deficiency (congenital and acquired), malignancy and terminal illnesses, pregnant women and children aged under 12 years.
The ministry, in a statement, advised Muslims in these categories to postpone the 2018 hajj pilgrimage for their own safety, saying: “it is not obligatory for anyone with a serious health condition to perform Hajj.”
It said that those in the categories listed are more prone to tragic incidents, hardship and difficulties due to overcrowding, harsh weather, lack of acclimatization, strenuous physical activities, and dehydration while performing Hajj rituals.
The experts warned that some of the main contributory factors from the heartbreaking 2015 Hajj disaster were extreme heat and fatigue, which led to the loss of over 2,000 innocent lives and that most of those who died in these terrible circumstances were elderly, sick, disabled and women.
“The temperatures in Makkah at the time had reached up to 46°C. Pilgrims were already dehydrated and fainting before the stampede began. Horrific scenes from the stampede aftermath caused great grief and distress amongst Muslims all over the world.
“ABH strongly urge the relevant authorities and Muslim scholars to stop people with such conditions from making the hazardous journey.” [myad]