Coronavirus surge serious threat to Umrah pilgrims: experts

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Dubai, Feb 19: A sudden upsurge in the Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia has put the Umrah pilgrims to Mecca at a high risk of contracting the deadly virus.

Health experts from Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH) have warned the prospective Umrah pilgrims that Coronavirus still remains a serious threat to them.


According to Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health, 34 new cases have been recorded this week, bringing the toll for the month to 46.

According to WHO, since June 2012 the causalities have reached 886, including 483 deaths.

Unlike Hajj, Umrah is performed throughout the year by millions of pilgrims from around the world, including over 100,000 pilgrims from the UK. Pilgrims 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.

Health experts stress that prolonged contact with infected individuals within confined space, facilitates the spread of deadly infectious diseases, which are transmitted through direct person-to-person contact.

Due to lack of awareness of preventive measures amongst the prospective pilgrims against the deadly infectious diseases, a vast majority of pilgrims will be at high risk of contracting them, experts said.

They said the vulnerable pilgrims must not be deprived of vital life-saving information about the preventive measures and how they should safeguard their health and well-being.

All efforts should be made to implement the directives issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in which member countries are required to raise awareness amongst the prospective pilgrims of the risks of contracting the deadly and lethal infectious diseases, they said.


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