Monday, November 9, 2009

No bar on Haj over 2009 H1N1 fears

Mohammed Rasooldeen of the Arab News reports that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not bar anyone considered at high risk for developing complications from H1N1 from performing Haj. Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, says it is up to individual countries to enforce recommendations that people in high risk groups forgo this year's pilgrimage.

'“Saudi Arabia does not ban anyone because the Haj is a religious event,” Al-Rabeeah told reporters. “Saudi Arabia has put in place strong recommendations that we hope individual countries will abide by.”

Al-Rabeeah made the comments at the launch of a national swine flu vaccine campaign in which he rolled up his sleeve and took the first shot. He then administered the vaccine to one of his twin daughters, Hana, 8. Her sister Haifa did not get the vaccine because she contracted swine flu recently.'

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