Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

People in fragile health reminded to forgo Haj

The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi sends out text messages saying some people should not undertake pilgrimages to Mecca this year.

Abu Dhabi // The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi has sent out text messages saying some people should not undertake pilgrimages to Mecca this year. The messages urged elderly people, pregnant women, children and those with chronic diseases not to undertake Haj and Umrah in 2009. The messages did not state a reason, but the advice was in line with a decision taken by Arab health ministers in July that, to contain the spread of swine flu, people in certain high-risk groups should not travel to Mecca.

A spokesman for the authority said the messages were sent to people in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia. Munira Mahmud, 24, a master's student, said the text messages were a good idea but she was unsure how effective they would be. "I think if people want to go to Haj, they will go anyway," she said. "It is more of a religious duty. But maybe it will be good, if some people aren't aware. They can make their own choices."

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that pregnant women, young children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases are most at risk of serious complications from infection with H1N1, the virus that causes swine flu. Two of the six people who the media reported to have died of swine flu in the UAE were pregnant women, and another was an eight-month-old baby. The Saudi health ministry said in August that prospective pilgrims would have to postpone their journey to Mecca if they had chronic ailments such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. A ministry statement said requests by such people to attend would be "postponed" until their situation improved.

Up to Saturday, Saudi Arabia had had 4,119 confirmed cases of the virus and 28 deaths, the WHO said. munderwood@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Shah Rukh Khan performs at the IPL Gala dinner to open IPL VII at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In pictures: Shah Rukh Khan stars at IPL Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi

The superstar entertainer Shah Rukh Khan on stage last night at a gala dinner to launch the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 When this 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on June 17, it is expected to attract a world record bid for a single stamp of up to $20 million (Dh73.4m). Courtesy Sotheby’s

Rare 1856 stamp up for auction at Sotheby’s

This is one of the world’s rarest stamps and when it goes up for auction in June it should fetch $20million. Its history since it was issued in 1856 is fascinating – and includes one murderous chapter, as Jonathan Gornall reports

 Residential buildings near the Al Qasba area in Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National

Sharjah rents rise as Dubai property crunch drive residents north

Apartment rents jumped 7 per cent from the previous quarter, taking the annual increase to 38 per cent according to a report from Asteco.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi plays with a rugby ball during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, near Barcelona in Sant Joan Despi, April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

In pictures: Barca play a little rugby before Copa del rey final

Barcelona and Real Madrid will play in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night but the day before the match, Braca players played a little rugby during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Barca meet Real Madrid on Wednesday at 11.30pm (UAE time) and the match will be on BeIn Sports.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National