Saudi Arabia’s warning to elderly Muslims, pregnant women and children against undertaking Hajj/Umrah pilgrimage this year in view of rapidly spreading swine flu worldwide sent a shock wave amongst Muslim community in Britain.
However Health Experts from Association of British Hujjaj a National Hajj specific organisation UK offer their support to the precautionary measures taken by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and strongly urge elderly, pregnant women and children from UK to defer their pilgrimage until the availability of the Swine flu vaccine. British pilgrims have always been at high risk of infections due to the crowded conditions at ceremonies, accommodation sites and on public transport. Therefore pilgrims must follow the guidelines issued by the authorities and they should be vaccinated against the Swine Flu virus once this vaccine is available at least two weeks before their departure to perform pilgrimage.
Association of British Hujjaj also urge British Muslims community that they should be aware of symptoms of the swine flu disease and in case of fever, cough or shortness of breath, headache, sore throat, tiredness, aching muscles, chills, sneezing, runny nose or loss of appetite they should stay at home, call your GP and do not go into your GP surgery or emergency departments unless you are advised to do so, because you might spread the illness to others.
People are reminded to use clean tissues to cover their mouth and nose when they cough and sneeze and bin the tissues after use and also wash their hands with soap and hot water and this good hygiene practice should also be implemented while they are performing the pilgrimage.
“Take the swine flu threat seriously, be safe than sorry and contact your doctor before travelling” said the Health Experts in their joint statement.