Oman


Oman's Ministry of Health issues guidelines for Umrah, Haj


A general view shows pilgrims performing evening prayers in Makkah's Grand Mosque on October 8, 2013, as more than two million Muslims have arrived in the holy city for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Photo - AFP

Muscat: The ailing and infirm, pregnant women and children are among those advised by the Ministry of Health against performing Umrah and Haj this season.

The Ministry of Health has said in a statement that people aged over 65 years and those suffering from chronic diseases of the heart, kidney and the respiratory tract or congenital conditions, tumours, HIV infection, or diabetes should postpone their Umrah and Haj visits this year.

The ministry has also advised pregnant women as well as children aged under 12 years to postpone their trip.

As other countries are now witnessing more victims of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health, as per the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has issued health requirements for those wishing to travel to perform Umrah and Haj this year.

The statement also affirmed that the Ministry of Health has not registered any new case of MERS-CoV to date.

All efforts
The ministry is making every effort to prevent the spread of infection through the adoption of several strategies and guidelines as well as the provision of high-tech equipment to examine samples taken from suspected carriers of the disease. The ministry has also provided personal safety tools and medicines to health workers.

The ministry, through the media, is also emphasising the importance of remaining alert, taking precautions and preventive measures, and following good health habits and making these practices part of one's daily routine.

After a five-day mission in Saudi Arabia, WHO said that there has been no significant change in the virus' ability to spread. Scientists say MERS does not transmit easily between people.

The WHO on May 12 said that there is no ban on travelling to Saudi Arabia on the grounds of MERS cases in the country.

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