Awareness drive at Haji Camps against Coronavirus


The Religious Ministry has launched an awareness drive at Haji Camps to educate the intending pilgrims about the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and other infectious diseases.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness which is caused by a Coronavirus known as MERS-CoV.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Muhammad Yousaf has directed the Haji Camp staff to vaccinate all pilgrims against infectious diseases.

The minister advised elderly persons, pregnant women, children and people affected by chronic diseases to avoid the visit. He however said, “No official document from the Saudi government regarding the ‘age limit’ of the pilgrims has been received as yet.” He informed that the government of Saudi Arabia on June 14 made a 20 percent cut on visiting pilgrims the world over, due to construction and development work going on in Haram.

ENT Specialist Dr Muhammad Usman advised pilgrims to wear masks to control the spread of MERS, which is spread through close contact and blood transfusion.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the most severely hit is the Arabian Peninsula causing 45 deaths, 38 of them in the kingdom alone and convened emergency talks on the virus last week. WHO has not recommended any travel restrictions but says countries should monitor unusual respiratory infection patterns.