Updated advice from the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health regarding Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Hajj 2013.
Advice issued by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health on 15 July 2013, recommends that elderly (above 65 years of age) and those with chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes), immune deficiency (congenital and acquired), malignancy and terminal illnesses, pregnant women and children (under 12 years) postpone the performance of the Hajj and Umrah for their own safety.
Advice for Travellers
They also advise pilgrims to comply with health guidelines to curb the spread of respiratory infections, which can be summarized as follows:
- Wash hands with soap and water or disinfectant, especially after coughing and sneezing.
- Use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and dispose of them appropriately.
- Avoid hand contact with the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid direct contact with those showing symptoms of respiratory or other infections.
- Wear masks, especially when in crowded places.
- Maintain good personal hygiene.
Advice regarding immunisations and pre-Hajj preparations remain unchanged from previous years.