Hajj Pilgrims to Wear Masks to Prevent Spread of Mers Virus

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Saudi Arabia has issued a series of rules to pilgrims travelling to Mecca for the Hajj that will ban the elderly and force others to wear respiratory masks to prevent the Mers coronavirus turning into an epidemic.

Health ministry regulations for the pilgrimage are the strictest in history as the government seeks to contain the spread of the new SARS-like condition which has affected 85 and killed 41.

Almost all those who have contracted Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) have been in Saudi Arabia or had contact with people who contracted it there. The first recorded Mers death was in June last year in Saudi Arabia.

(Tens of millions of Muslims from around the world are expected to take part in the Hajj this October. The emergence of the mysterious virus ahead of the pilgrimage has been described as the single biggest worldwide public health since the deadly Sars pandemic. )

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