The number of Nigerians who lost their lives in the course of performing Hajj this year has increased to 20.
It was reported on Sunday that seven pilgrims died before Arafat, four in Arafat and two others in Mina, making 13 in all at the time the Head of the Medical Mission, Dr Usman Galadima, briefed stakeholders.
Briefing journalists at NAHCON office in Makkah on Saturday however, the Commissioner in charge of Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library Services, Shaykh Sulayman Momoh, said more mortality cases have been discovered which have brought the total number to 20.
While not stating the cause of the latest round of deaths, the Commissioner warned Nigerian pilgrims to stop patronising roadside food vendors who he said don’t prepare their meals in hygienic conditions.
He blamed the penchant for Nigerian pilgrims to eat food prepared by unapproved vendors for the prevalence of diarrhoea among them which he said has overwhelmed the NAHCON clinics.
“These food vendors don’t prepare their meals in hygienic conditions. We have hired Nigerian caterers who prepare local delicacies that are safe and healthy. Our pilgrims should stick to this,” he said.