Six of the reported seven deaths of Filipino pilgrims during this week's hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia were due to various types of diseases, a Philippine health official said Saturday.
Dr. Abdulnasser P. Masorong Jr. of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) said the six reported deaths were due to heart problem, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and severe pneumonia, and that the ages of the victims ranged from 49 and above.
He said that one of the victims succumbed to heart attack while on a plane heading for Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, the Dapartment of Foreign Affairs confirmed that one Filipino pilgrim died in the stampede that left hundreds of people dead.
In an earlier text message to GMA Nes Online, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said, "The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has confirmed that one local Filipino pilgrim died in the stampede in Mecca. The personal circumstances of the victim are being withheld on the request of the family."
All of the seven Filipino fatalities have already been buried in Mecca, Masorong said.
But DFA's Jose did not confirm the other deaths, saying they were still gathering information on the six cases Masorong has reported.
On the other hand, Masorong said the Saudi Ministry of Health has not received reports from the pilgrims' base that a Filipino has contracted the dreaded Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) disease, so far. — Ronaldo Concha with a report from Rie Takumi/LBG, GMA News