Religion of Sunday, 14 July 2013
The National Hajj Committee (NHC) has requested the Ministry of Health to provide facial masks for the 2013 pilgrims to Mecca, to insulate them against the SARS-like coronavirus Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The request is in line with a directive from the Saudi Authorities for pilgrims to wear the mask at heavily populated places in the country, to avoid getting infected with the deadly disease.
NHC will also run a series of public education on the signs and symptoms of the disease.
Mr Ibrahim Abdul Rauf Tanko, Chairman of the Committee made this known to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Saturday.
He said according to the World Health Organisation, the disease could cause fever, coughing and pneumonia, sneezing; and is spread from human to human.
Mr Tanko said coronavirus infection causes severe acute respiratory disease, which requires ventilation support similar to severe forms of pneumonia.
He said symptoms and signs of the disease include sudden onset of difficulty in breathing, kidney failure, heart disorders and bleeding tendencies in some patients.
The outbreak of MERS has been reported since April 2012 in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and parts of the Middle East.
The Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia had so far confirmed 38 deaths and 65 cases.
According to the WHO, the disease has not yet assumed pandemic potential and may simply die out.