The Association of British Hujjaj (A.B.H.) is a National Charity working for the welfare and wellbeing of British overseas travellers including Hajj and Umrah pilgrims. The A.B.H. has written to the Secretary of State for Health, Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt M.P. and Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davis expressing their grave concern about the recent Coronavirus scare and the tragic death of a man from Birmingham.
The community is shocked and saddened by this tragedy. The deceased contracted the Coronavirus from his father, who is also currently fighting for his life in hospital. His father recently returned from Saudi Arabia after performing an Umrah pilgrimage. The Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage is an ongoing process and every year over 125,000 British citizens travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage. These British travellers have always been at high risk of contracting infectious diseases due to their close proximity with millions of people from around the world during the pilgrimage. In the recent past, around 20 British Hajj returnees tragically died in the UK due to outbreaks of meningitis.
“We are extremely concerned about this Coronavirus scare and strongly urge the Government and relevant local authorities to take appropriate measures to prevent the future loss of innocent human lives, specifically amongst vulnerable British Hajj and Umrah travellers, in view of the present Coronavirus scare,” said Khalid Pervez, General Secretary of A.B.H.