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Saudi Authorities Threaten to Block Nigerian Pilgrims for Hajj

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has disclosed that the Saudi Arabian authorities are threatening to block Nigerian pilgrims from attending the 2018 Hajj exercise. NAHCON on Monday, April 23, said the threats by the Saudi authorities followed reports of Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, Premium Times stated. However, Mousa Ubandawaki, one of the spokespersons of the Hajj commission said the Nigerian authorities are taking the threat from the Saudi Arabian authorities seriously.

“There will be an expanded meeting of all officials from the 36 states, the Commission and officials of the Federal Government to discuss the matter tomorrow,” Ubandawaki said. The NAHCON official said the meeting will hold at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also stated that 1081 suspected cases and 90 deaths have been reported from 18 states namely: Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekite, Federal Capital Territory, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba, between January 1 through February 25 this year. The name of the disease comes from the town of Lassa in northern Nigeria where it was first identified in 1969. The virus is spread through contact with food or household items contaminated with rats’ urine or faeces or after coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

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