A(H1N1) Virus in Saudi
RIYADH -- Saudi Arabia reported three new swine flu cases on Sunday as government officials said they were making plans to guard against the disease during pilgrimages to Muslim holy sites.
A Mauritanian arriving from Canada and a Saudi brother and sister were diagnosed with the A(H1N1) virus, the health ministry announced, taking to 12 the number of cases since the virus first appeared in the kingdom 11 days ago.
With the quick rise in the number of swine flu cases, the Saudi authorities are developing plans to prevent the disease's spread during pilgrimages this year, the official SPA news agency reported.
As well as the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which all Muslims are required to make once in a lifetime if they can, the faithful can also make a lesser pilgrimage to the holy places, known as omra, at any time of year.
Health ministry undersecretary for infectious diseases Khalid al-Zahrani said the ministry was shoring up health care services and monitoring for the disease, but would not restrict entry to pilgrims because the threat, SPA said.
The hajj to holy sites in Saudi Arabia is one of the five pillars of Islam. This year's hajj will take place in November.
It's confirmed in Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE as well.
As of 17:00 GMT, 15 June 2009, 76 countries have officially reported 35, 928 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection, including 163 deaths.
74 countries /145 deaths. Another case in Delhi
passenger has flown from JFK via Doha
May god bless all the ppl there on the holy land and the holy mosques ...now it is not that much rush but when the Haj time comes it will be really rush