Saudi Arabia may ban anyone in contact with MERS patients from performing Hajj

RIYADH, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) — Saudi Arabia is mulling banning those who have been in contact with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus patients from performing Hajj this year, according to local newspaper on Friday.

This will be part of many precaution measures to ensure the Hajj season free of the contagious disease, an official from the Health Ministry told the local Al Eqtisadiya newspaper.

The ban might also cover medics from the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh who have witnessed a limited outbreak of MERS cases.

The official said in the recent month, 71 new MERS cases have been reported, mostly in Riyadh.

The total number of confirmed MERS cases since its appearance is 1,173, of which 606 have cured and 56 are still undergoing treatment. The fatality has risen to 502 cases since the outbreak in Riyadh.

The MERS virus can cause symptoms such as fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.