No haj pilgrims returning with flu-like symptoms

Muslim worshippers gather at the Grand Mosque in Islam's holiest city of Mecca, on June 14, 2018.
Muslim worshippers gather at the Grand Mosque in Islam's holiest city of Mecca, on June 14, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

There have been no cases of pilgrims returning from the haj with flu-like symptoms in Singapore, amid two haj-related health scares at US airports last week, the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Muis) said yesterday.

The two health incidents in the United States involved inbound flights that had people returning from pilgrimages to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, officials said last Friday.

A Muis spokesman told The Straits Times its haj unit has not received any reports of such symptoms from returning pilgrims so far.

The haj quota for this year was increased to 900 people, a hundred more than last year's quota.

The last group of pilgrims left on Aug 16, and all pilgrims are expected to arrive back in Singapore by Saturday. About half of the pilgrims have already returned, said the Muis spokesman.

Asked about the health scares abroad, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it maintains close contact with the World Health Organisation and its overseas counterparts to monitor the global infectious disease situation.

An MOH spokesman said the ministry also works closely with Muis during the haj period to advise haj and umrah pilgrims on the recommended vaccinations to get prior to travel, as well as precautions to adopt when overseas.

 

Among other precautions, travellers to any foreign country should be aware of any health advisories issued by the local health authorities in that country.

Toh Ting Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2018, with the headline 'No haj pilgrims returning with flu-like symptoms'. Print Edition | Subscribe