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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Malaysia : Ministry ready for umrah season

Via The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is ready for the umrah and haj season despite the recent Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) scare in Saudi Arabia.
Health deputy director-general (Public Health) Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said that although the World Health Organisation (WHO) had not imposed any international travel restrictions, the ministry was taking the necessary precautions.
“We have increased communications with travel agencies for the umrah and potential haj travellers,” he told a press conference after a ministry awards for excellence ceremony here yesterday.
Dr Lokman said that they were ready for the Ramadan season when Muslims went to Mecca to perform their umrah.
The WHO on Monday urged health workers around the world to be on the alert for symptoms of the deadly MERS.
Since September 2012, more than 50 cases of MERS-CoV have been identified globally and about half of these people had died.
All cases identified so far had either a direct or indirect connection with the Middle East.
Dr Lokman said that the ministry had also enhanced its surveillance capacity on severe acute respiratory infection and patients diagnosed with the infection would be screened.
It was also increasing the capacity of laboratories to detect the virus, he said, adding that thus far, there was no vaccine for the virus.
“Those going to Mecca are advised to look after their health and take care of their hygiene.
“If they have prolonged cough or fever, they should see a doctor and inform the doctor of their travel history,” he said.”

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