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07 Nov 2022

1st Sep 2015

Health advisory for Umrah and Haj pilgrims

The World Health Organization (WHO)1 has reported cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen and Lebanon. The Ministry of Health (MOH) would like to advise Umrah and Haj pilgrims of the following:

  • Be vaccinated against influenza and meningitis. Persons aged 65 years and above or with chronic medical conditions should also get vaccinated against pneumococcal infection. While there is NO vaccination against MERS-CoV, vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcal infection will help prevent these common infections which have similar symptoms as MERS.  
  • Pilgrims with pre-existing chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, chronic bronchitis) should consult a medical practitioner before travelling to assess whether making the pilgrimage is medically advisable.
  • Avoid close contact with persons suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  • Avoid contact with camels and other live farm or wild animals, including not visiting camel farms. If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap.
  • Observe good personal hygiene at all times, and practise frequent hand washing with soap and water, before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing and in particular, after direct contact with ill persons or their environment. Persons who are sick are reminded to cover their nose and mouth with tissue when sneezing or coughing, and to dispose of the tissue properly.
  • Pilgrims are advised to wear masks (i.e. surgical masks) especially when in crowded places.
  • Adopt good food safety and hygiene practices and avoid consuming unpasteurised milk, undercooked meats, raw fruits and vegetables (unless they have been peeled), or unsafe water.
  • Wear a mask and seek medical attention promptly if you become unwell with fever and cough and/or breathlessness while travelling or within 2 weeks after returning to Singapore, and inform the doctor of your travel history.

For the latest update on the Health Advisory, please refer to the MOH webpage on MERS-CoVopens in a new window.




1 For the latest update, please refer to WHO’s website at:




Category: Current Issues