Mecca, Saudi Arabia (ANTARA) - Indonesian Hajj pilgrims ailing from health issues on the last days of their Hajj are eligible for special services during their return from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, according to an official.

Indonesian Hajj Pilgrimage Organization Committee's (PPIH's) Head of the Mecca section Amir Hamzah stated that pilgrims with health issues could access ambulance services to the airport or return earlier than scheduled.

The Indonesian Hajj Health Office (KKHI) will put forth the names of pilgrims in need of ambulance service or having to return earlier than scheduled, known as tanazul, he remarked.

"The KKHI has proposed (ambulance) evacuation for six pilgrims and the tanazul procedure for two, but (the number has) reduced to one because (one of the pilgrims) died," Hamzah stated here, Thursday.

Hajj officers will handle administrative necessities on behalf of the pilgrims, who must be transported by ambulance to the airport and also seek empty seats that can be offered to them if they must return earlier than scheduled, he remarked.

"We also need to know whether the pilgrim can sit, use a wheelchair or not, or do they need to lie down," he added.

Airlines serving Hajj flights offer a different number of seats that could be changed into the reclining configuration for pilgrims with health issues, he remarked while pointing out that national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia offers only one seat while Saudia offers nine seats.

The office section head remarked that the tanazul procedure can be accessed not only for pilgrims with health issues but also for pilgrims looking to reunite with their kin that return earlier or have urgent business.

Currently, some 179 Hajj pilgrims, excluding those with health issues, have applied to return earlier than scheduled, he noted.

He elaborated that a pilgrim can apply for the procedure to officers responsible for their flight group that will forward their application to the authority.

Pilgrims applying to return earlier must present a statement, complete with a witness' signature, declaring their willingness not to take action against the authority if their pilgrimage ritual is not completed due to return being earlier than scheduled, Hamzah said.

The first wave of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims returning to Indonesia is expected on Friday (July 15), he added.

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Translator: Desi Purnamawati, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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