Saudi Ministry of Health Advice on MERS-COV (Corona Virus)
The Saudi Ministry of Health recommends that elderly (above 65 years of age) and those with chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes) and pilgrims with immune deficiency (congenital and acquired), Malignancy and terminal illnesses, pregnant women and children (under 12) coming for Hajj and Umrah this year, to postpone the performance of the Hajj and Umrah for their own safety .
The Saudi Ministry of Health also advises all pilgrims to comply with common public health guidelines to curb the spread of respiratory infectious disease, which can be summarized as follows:
A – Wash hands with soap and water or disinfectant, especially after coughing and sneezing.
B – Use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and dispose it in the waste basket.
C – Try as much as possible to avoid hand contact with the eyes, nose and mouth.
D – Avoid direct contact with the infected persons (people with symptoms such as cough, sneeze, expectoration, vomiting, and diarrhea) and do not share their personal gadgets.
E- Wearing masks, especially when in crowded places.
F- Maintain good personal hygiene.
2- General Precautions: Updating immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases in all travellers is strongly recommended. Preparation for international travel provides opportunity to review the immunization status of travellers. Incompletely immunized travellers can be offered routine vaccinations recommended in national immunization schedules (these usually include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, and mumps), in addition to those needed for the specific travel (e.g. meningococcal vaccination for Hajj).
3. Emergency Precautions: In the event of a public health emergency of international health concern, or in the case of any disease outbreak subject to notification under the International Health Regulations 2005, the health authorities in Saudi Arabia will undertake additional preventive precautions (not included in the measures mentioned above) following consultation with WHO and necessary to avoid the spread of infection during the pilgrimage or on return to their country of origin.
Source: Ministry of Health