Health department advices postponing umra pilgrimage following MERS spread

Health department advices postponing umra pilgrimage following MERS spread

Patients suspected Mers-Cov treated her family in a special isolation room of internal medicine, Hospital Dr. M Djamil Padang, West Sumatra, on Monday (May 5). (ANTARA/Iggoy el Fitra)

Such symptoms need to be monitored and we are coordinating with the District/City Health Office as well as hospitals."
Padang, West Sumatra (ANTARA News) - West Sumatra Health Department issued an advice to postpone Umra pilgrimage for people above 60 years and those who are not in good health, following the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus outbreak.

West Sumatra Health Department Chief Rosini Savitri said here on Monday all Umra pilgrims are advised to postpone their pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia if they are not in good health.

"The virus transmission is through air, also it is transmittable through infected equipment that has been used to treat other patients," Rosnini added.

In addition to people with poor health, the advice is for Umra pilgrims who are more than 60 years and those less than 12 years.

However, for those who still want to go for the Umrah pilgrimage it is advisable to maintain a good physical condition and avoid contact with a camel and strangers.

West Sumatra is an area in Indonesia that must be wary of the spread of the MERS virus as the interest of the local residents to go for the pilgrimage is high.

The potential people infected with the new MERS corona virus are those who have just arrived back from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, in the past 14 days and have fever with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and shortness of breath.

"Such symptoms need to be monitored and we are coordinating with the District/City Health Office as well as hospitals," Rosnini said.

According to the data from the Provincial Ministry of Religious Affairs office, more than a thousand West Sumatra residents traveled to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to perform Umrah between January and May 2014, amid the virus outbreak.
(Uu.A050/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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