Health experts from the Association of British Hujjaj (UK) ABH, a national Hajj/Umrah specific organization has extended its strong support towards the desperate measures taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure the safety of millions of Pilgrims from all over the world who will gather in Makkah in October 2013 to perform their Hajj pilgrimage.
Health experts from ABH strongly urges all the prospective pilgrims to cooperate with the Saudi authorities and follow the restrictions and guidelines which they have issued after consultation with the World Health Organization and with international experts on the lethal and deadly Coronavirus threat which has so far claimed over 45 deaths worldwide including 38 from Saudi Arabia.
To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Saudi authorities have taken extreme steps and strongly urge postponing the Hajj this year for those pilgrims who are elderly or have chronic health conditions such as heart, kidney, respiratory diseases and diabetes, infants including pregnant women and those with immunity deficiency will also not be granted a visa to perform their pilgrimage for their own safety.
Saudi authorities also strongly urge prospective pilgrims to take preventive measures by wearing masks and practicing basic personal hygiene such as using tissues when coughing or sneezing and getting the appropriate vaccines before travelling to Makkah. A valid certificate of vaccination against meningitis is also required along with an optional vaccination against influenza as a precaution against flu attacks is also stressed.
Health experts from the ABH, UK also express their grave concern about the safety and well being of over 25,000 prospective British Hajj pilgrims. They have issued a strong warning to the pilgrims that they must take the threat of Coronavirus seriously and take all necessary precautionary measures to safeguard their and their loved ones health.
The health experts strongly urge the authorities in UK to learn the lesson from the previous outbreak of Meningitis amongst British Hajj pilgrims where over 20 pilgrims had lost their lives tragically in the UK in the recent past and recent tragic death of 3 victims of Coronavirus. Steps should be taken to raise awareness about health risks and preventive measures amongst pilgrims and travellers to Saudi Arabia specifically from hard to reach community groups and to ensure the prevention of spread of infectious diseases including Coronavirus in the community upon the return of these travellers.