Hajj preparations: Saudi Arabia adopts measures to limit SARS infection

Published: September 27, 2012
Email
Coronavirus related to common cold, comes from same family as SARS which emerged in China in 2002. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Coronavirus related to common cold, comes from same family as SARS which emerged in China in 2002. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

JEDDAH: 

Saudi Arabia has taken precautions to prevent disease spreading among Hajj pilgrims next month after a Qatari man was infected with a virus related to the deadly SARS, a health ministry official said on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation put out a global alert on Sunday saying a new, previously unknown, virus had infected a 49-year-old Qatari man who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia, where another man with an almost identical virus had already died.

Britain’s Health Protection Agency and respiratory disease experts said there was no immediate cause for concern, although authorities were watching for any signs of the virus spreading.

“The health ministry has taken preventative measures to deal with the influx of over 2 million Hajj pilgrims,” Ziad Memish, the deputy minister for public health, told Reuters.

“The measures include monitoring the entrances through land, sea and air to evaluate the people entering and obtain samples if any symptoms are apparent,” he added.

In 2009 Saudi Arabia set up thermal cameras at its airports and increased the number of its medics as part of its measures to limit the spread of the H1N1 flu. It will not resort to using thermal cameras this year, Memish said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2012.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (2)

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Sep 27, 2012 - 1:59PM

    Or the pilgrims can go vegetarian just for this one time. Why risk life?

    Recommend

  • Truth
    Sep 27, 2012 - 3:06PM

    @Yuri Vegetarian

    SARS infection has nothing to do with veg or non veg food….on the contrary, by eating only veg, the human body loses out on certain nutrients only found in non veg food. Children of growing age are highly recommended to have non veg and so are sports athletes who burn lots of calories and need high protein diets…

    Recommend

More in Pakistan