Hajj 2024 Had Fewer Ambulances Caused a Rise In Deaths

Hajj 2024 faces criticism for insufficient ambulance services, as reported by Middle East Eye. Unregistered pilgrims were particularly affected, with real death tolls potentially much higher than official figures.
saudi arabian ambulence
Photo: SPA

Earlier this week, Middle East Eye (MEE) reported that both registered and unregistered pilgrims faced significant challenges during Hajj 2024, including a lack of essential facilities such as buses and ambulances.

The insufficient number of ambulances has raised serious concerns about the safety and well-being of the pilgrims.

177 ambulances for 1.8 million pilgrims

It was reported by the state media that a total of 1.8 million pilgrims performed Hajj this year, while authorities have deployed only 177 ambulances in this year’s pilgrimage, as reported by the Arab News, owned by Saudi Arabia.

A source within the Saudi security forces informed MEE that the actual number of deaths this year might be three to four times higher than the officially reported figures.

This alarming discrepancy highlights the critical issue of inadequate emergency response services during the pilgrimage.

The source added that no official statement would be released regarding these figures unless the deaths were a result of a specific accident, leaving many unanswered questions about the true scale of the tragedy.

The lack of ambulances meant that many pilgrims, especially the elderly and those with chronic illnesses, did not receive the timely medical attention they needed.

This situation was even worse for unregistered pilgrims, who were denied access to many basic services, further increasing their vulnerability in the extreme heat and crowded conditions.

As Saudi Arabia aims to increase the number of pilgrims in the coming years under its Vision 2030 plan, ensuring adequate medical and emergency services should be a top priority.

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