Health experts from the Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH), a National Hajj/Umrah-specific organisation, express deep concern regarding the spread of Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia and around the world.
According to the latest reports received from Saudi Arabia, 71 people have died across the country after contracting this deadly virus. It is alarming that the Coronavirus is spreading rapidly to other countries. Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have already reported deaths of individuals who contracted the deadly virus, and Yemen has also reported its first case of Coronavirus. According to the World Heath Organization (WHO), 212 individuals have been infected with Coronavirus worldwide, out of which 88 persons have died.
The health experts issued a stern warning that Hajj/Umrah travellers have always been at high risk of contracting infectious diseases due to their close proximity with millions of people from around the world during the pilgrimage in Makkah. They have supported the desperate move by the Saudi authorities to combat the spread of Coronavirus, in which the prospective pilgrims with chronic health conditions, such as heart, kidney, respiratory diseases and diabetes, as well as infants, pregnant women and those with immunity deficiency, have been strongly urged to postpone their plan or journey for Hajj this year. This is not only vital for their own safety but also to eliminate risk of the spread of this deadly, lethal and infectious disease, Coronavirus, in their country upon their return.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the government of Saudi Arabia have required all the relevant countries to raise awareness of travel health-related risks amongst prospective pilgrims, specifically about the risk of contracting infectious diseases and the preventive measures they should take. The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH) also urges the relevant countries around the world to take their international responsibility seriously to eliminate the risk of the spread of the deadly and lethal Coronavirus to prevent the loss of innocent human lives amongst Hajj/Umrah pilgrims.