Saudi MERS: Philippines urges its Muslims to abort Hajj

Thursday, July 3, 2014
By Paul Martin

July 3, 2014

The Philippines urged its large Muslim minority on Thursday to reconsider plans to join pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia this year due to a deadly virus outbreak there.

About 6,500 Filipinos who are set to join the annual Hajj pilgrimage in October are being urged to go next year instead, when the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is expected to be under control, health department spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy said.

“We know it’s a religious custom, but it is also our duty to provide health advisories,” Lee Suy told AFP.

“It’s an appeal for them to delay the trip if possible due to the MERS virus…. If possible, they should go next year.”

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