Updated on 1 August 2014
Individual countries in Asia and around the world have set up screening counters at airports to keep the virus out of their borders
Singapore: Though MERS cases are ceasing, global health experts are urging pilgrims and other travelers intending to visit the Middle Eastern countries to be vigilant about the deadly virus and follow necessary precautions.
Ahead of the Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, individual countries in Asia and around the world have set up screening counters at airports to keep the virus out of their borders.
Hong Kong recently announced that it was closely monitoring MERS cases, calling on the public to maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene during international travel.
Currently nine new cases have been notified by the Saudi health Ministry to the WHO. A spokesperson for department of health, Hong Kong said, "We strongly advice travel agents organizing tours to the Middle East, not to arrange camel rides and activities involving camel contact, which may increase the risk of infection. In addition, travelers are reminded to avoid going to farms, barns or markets with camels, and avoid contact with animals, especially camels, birds, poultry or sick people during travel."
African countries have decided to conduct medical screening on intending pilgrims in the territory before their pilgrims leave for Haj. The screening conducted by FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (MPWB) is scheduled to commence from August 2, 2014. The commission warned intending pilgrims to participate in the exercise as failure to do so would attract strict penalty.
The commission said that the screening process would enable the board to have a comprehensive medical record and health status of intending pilgrims. People with underlying medical conditions or those falling in the vulnerable age bracket, would be advised to suspend their trip to Saudi Arabia this year, due to the outbreak.