Thursday, 18 Safar 1441 / 17 October 2019

Thursday, 18 Safar 1441 / 17 October 2019

Umrah pilgrims advised to consult health department

Selasa 13 May 2014 18:39 WIB

Red: Julkifli Marbun

MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus).

MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus).

Foto: Reuters

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, KENDARI -- The Umrah pilgrims have been asked to consult the local health department for a health vaccine for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus (MERS-CoV) before traveling to Saudi Arabia.

"With regard to the MERS outbreak in the Middle East, we ask all pilgrims to have a vaccine shot," Head of the Religious Affairs Office Rakhmat remarked here on Monday (May 12).

Rakhmat stated that the local religious affairs office cannot directly control the Umrah pilgrims because their travel arrangements are handled by their own travel agents.

"The system is different from the Hajj pilgrims, where they are scheduled to take a vaccine shot to prevent the virus infection," noted Rakhmat.

Currently, several Kendari residents have been suspected to have reportedly contracted the MERS-CoV infection after returning from their Umrah pilgrimage.

The Health Department has forwarded the suspected patients' blood and saliva samples to a laboratory in Jakarta and is still awaiting the test results.

"We hope that our citizens are not infected by the MERS virus, hopefully it is just a regular influenza virus," Rakhmat added.

The Religious Affairs Department in Southeast Sulawesi will further improve coordination with the local Health Office, including the Port Health Office, to provide vaccines to the Umrah pilgrims.

"This health issue should be a matter of serious concern for all parties. Our citizens harbor good intentions of performing Umrah, but hopefully they should not carry the highly contagious disease when they return back home," Rakhmat reiterated.

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