JEDDAH — Five Filipino pilgrims who went to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage last month had died, according to the Philippine Consulate here.
The five elderly pilgrims—four male and one female—died before and during Hajj, said Consul General Imelda Panolong.
She said four of the five died of natural causes while the other was diagnosed with A(H1N1) or influenza virus while confined at the ICU of a hospital in Mecca.
Panolong said National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) medical team head Dr. Abdulnasser Masorong believes the virus was hospital-acquired, since the patient was already pre-disposed to it because of his condition.
She said that appropriate steps were taken to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus of the NCMF medical personnel and other Hajj pilgrims.
Panolong quoted Dr. Masorong as saying that the risk of transmission was assessed to be generally low.
The five Pilgrims were among the almost 7, 000 Filipinos who took part in this year's Hajj pilgrimage.
Panolong said that 2016 Hajj is observed to be generally peaceful and orderly. —Ronaldo Concha/KBK, GMA News