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Saudi Arabia screens pilgrims for Ebola

(The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2014 - 10:00pm

RIYADH (Xinhua) - Saudi Arabia is screening incoming pilgrims for Ebola and providing them with preventative medication, local media reported on Monday.

At the King Abdulaziz International Airport, a medical team wearing protective clothing examines pilgrims who have flown in for Hajj, especially pilgrims coming from West Africa, the English language newspaper Arab News quoted Fahd Al-Ghazwi, supervisor of the preventive center at the airport, as saying.

Passengers are required to fill out medical forms and take preventive medication as soon as they disembark from their flights, he added.

The airport will hold a drill on how to handle a suspected case with Ebola virus.

A traveler who had been suspected of having the Ebola virus was recently transferred to a hospital, but was found to be free from the disease upon testing.

Some 42,020 pilgrims have arrived from Nigeria so far and the remaining 33,980 pilgrims are scheduled to arrive in the next couple of days, Ibrahin K. Muna, head of Nigerian Hajj Health Affairs Mission, told the newspaper.

About 150 pilgrims are from an Ebola-ridden state but all of them were in good health condition and free from any diseases, Muna said.

He said over 90 percent of the Hajj pilgrims are arriving from non-Ebola regions and that all the pilgrims arriving from Nigeria had undergone close multilevel screening under observation of the World Health Organization.

Nigeria is the only Ebola-hit African country whose nationals are not banned from performing Hajj.  
 

ARAB NEWS AT THE KING ABDULAZIZ INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT EBOLA FAHD AL-GHAZWI IBRAHIN K MUNA NIGERIAN HAJJ HEALTH AFFAIRS MISSION PILGRIMS SAUDI ARABIA WEST AFRICA WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
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