Via GMA News Online: Pinoy pilgrims urged to postpone Hajj, Umrah trips due to MERS-CoV risk. Excerpt:
Citing the risk of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, the Department of Health on Thursday advised Filipinos planning to go to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages to postpone their trips.
DOH Secretary Enrique Ona directed the advice to those most vulnerable such as those 60 years old and up, pregnant women, children below five years old, and those with diabetes, kidney disease, chronic lung disease, and weak immunity.
“Filipino pilgrims to Mecca are advised to consult a doctor before traveling to review the risk and assess whether making the pilgrimage is advisable,” he added.
For this year, Hajj—the fifth pillar of Islam and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity—is expected to fall between October 2 to 7.