Saudian Ministry of Health has announced important measures for the pilgrims who are coming in for Hajj and Umrah from countries which have a high rate of infectious diseases. The ministry has sent out a circular to the foreign ministry and further it would be circulated to overseas missions defining the requirements for the Visa Issuance for various countries.
Undersecretary to the Ministry of Health, Ziad Al-Memish said in an interview that Kingdom has been monitoring very carefully the developments made out throughout the world in the areas of infectious diseases. He said the requirements specified in the aforementioned circular are in compliance with the policies set by the World Health Organization to control and prevent the spread of infectious diseases throughout the globe. He said the Kingdom has shown special focus on diseases such as seasonal influenza, polio, yellow fever, meningitis and food poisoning. He further explained that the vaccines should be provided ten days earlier before pilgrims start their journey for Umrah or Hajj. The Saudi Government is prescribing specific vaccines as per reviewing the different viral diseases present in different countries. It has to make sure that the aircrafts and ships carrying pilgrims should be free from mosquitoes. Apart from these vaccinations, the spokesperson advised that the pilgrims to make precautionary measures against influenza during their entire stay in the kingdom. He further explained that the flu vaccine is not considered mandatory, but it is desirable considering different weather conditions and the vulnerability of pilgrims to influenza.