Saudi urges elderly, sick to put off Haj
Riyadh, April 30, 2014
Saudi Arabia plans to launch a campaign to persuade the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases to postpone Haj this year due to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) coronavirus outbreak in the kingdom, a report said.
The move aims to contain the spread of the virus during the pilgrimage season, said the Gulf News report.
As many as 105 people have so far died in Saudi Arabia from Mers virus attack since the outbreak in 2012.
Acting Health Minister Adel Fakeih said the government will ask its embassies and consulates around the world to convince the vulnerable categories of people to delay the Haj.
Around three million Muslims from all over the world congregate in Makkah annually for at least four days to perform the Haj.
Last year, Saudi Arabia said that it would not issue Haj visas for the elderly and people with chronic diseases.