Saudi asks pilgrims to wear mask over virus fear
Riyadh, July 14, 2013
Health officials in Saudi Arabia have asked pilgrims visiting its holy sites to wear masks in crowded places to stop the spread of the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) coronavirus.
A list of requirements issued by the health ministry also tells elderly people or those with chronic diseases to postpone their pilgrimage, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Thirty-eight people have died from the virus in Saudi Arabia. Millions of Muslims from around the world are expected to take part in the Haj in October. Health officials urged people taking part to maintain personal hygiene standards, use a tissue when sneezing and coughing, and have the necessary vaccinations.
The MERS coronavirus emerged in the Arabian peninsula in September last year and is part of a large family of viruses, which includes the common cold and Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). – TradeArabia News Service