Ghanaians among Hajj deaths as heatwave sweeps Saudi Arabia

The official death toll from this year’s Hajj pilgrimage has soared to almost 500 and the true toll could be more than double, according to a CNN tally

Ghanaian authorities are working to confirm the number of citizens who died during the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage after a heatwave struck Saudi Arabia, claiming the lives of a reported 500 Muslim pilgrims.

Speaking on the 12 O’clock Report on Friday (21 June) Abdul Rahman Gomda, head of communication for the Ghana Hajj Board acknowledged Ghanaian fatalities. However, he stressed the lack of an official figure.

“The officials of the Ghana consulate in Saudi Arabia are awaiting details of Ghanaians, if any, who lost their lives as a result of the heat wave,” Gomda said. “I can confirm that there are fatalities on the part of such persons but officially, we haven’t received the details yet.”

Gomda explained the challenges in identifying victims. “An official from the consulate told me that they are still waiting,” he said. “It is a laborious task using fingerprints to match those of corpses in the morgue.”

While unable to confirm a definitive number, Gomda revealed that he could at least confirm four deaths. “The medical director called me earlier to say that for now, he can confirm four deaths within the Ghana Hajj board fold,” Gomda stated.

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