Muscat: Urging citizens and residents to follow the recommendations issued by the Saudi Arabian authorities while undertaking Umrah or Haj this year, Oman's Ministry of Health (MoH) has asked visitors to submit a certificate of vaccination with the quadrivalent (ACYW135) vaccine against meningitis issued no more than three years and no less than 10 days before arrival in Saudi Arabia.
"Oman health authorities are required to ensure that adults and children over the age of two years are given one dose of the quadrivalent polysaccharide (ACYW135) vaccine before they undertake the travel," an announcement said.
"The Saudi Ministry of Health recommends that international pilgrims be vaccinated against seasonal influenza before arriving to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly those at increased risk of severe influenza diseases, including pregnant women, children under five years, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, and chronic heart or lung diseases," the MoH announcement said.
The announcement clarified that because of the risks to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has recommended that people over 65 years, children under 12 years, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases (such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or respiratory disease), people with weakened immune systems and people with cancer or terminal illnesses should postpone their plans for Umrah and Haj this year.
The Saudi Ministry of Health has also advised the pilgrims to comply with the common public health guidelines to curb the spread of respiratory infectious disease.
The other instructions include avoiding direct contact with infected persons (people with symptoms such as cough, sneezing, expectoration, vomiting, and diarrhoea) and not sharing their personal gadgets. Also, wearing masks, especially when in crowded places and maintaining good personal hygiene, has been urged.