Over 100 Egyptian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia treated for suspected food poisoning: Minister

Ahram Online, Sunday 19 Aug 2018

Muslim pilgrims attend Friday prayer at the Grand mosque ahead of annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)

More than one hundred Egyptian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia have been treated for suspected food poisoning, Egyptian Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marawan has said.

The minister, who also heads the Egyptian hajj delegation, said 118 Egyptians of a total of more than 2,500 guests at a hotel in the kingdom suffered symptoms including stomach ache and diarrhoea after eating at the hotel restaurant.

He added in TV comments late on Saturday that they had been immediately treated and all have entirely recovered.

The hotel restaurant has been closed and lab tests are being conducted by the Saudi health ministry to identify the causes of the incident, he added.

Around 80,000 Egyptians are expected to go on this year's hajj pilgrimage, due to take place from 19 to 24 August, Egyptian officials have said.

At least 18 Egyptians have died so far from health and natural causes, according to Egypt's health ministry.

All capable Muslims are required to perform the hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, at least once in their lifetime.

Saudi authorities said more than 2 million Muslims from around the world took part in last year's hajj.

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