Umrah pilgrims so far free of H1N1, says health ministry

Yasmine Saleh
2 Min Read

CAIRO: No H1N1 cases appeared so far in pilgrims returning to Egypt from Umrah trips in Saudi Arabia, according to Ministry of Health statements.

Both the Ministries of Health and Education have been bracing themselves for the return of Umrah pilgrims after Ramadan so they can assess the situation as the academic year approaches.

Most H1N1 cases appearing in Egypt are of tourists and Egyptians arriving from abroad.

On Monday, the Ministry of Transportation announced the arrival of over 9,113 Egyptian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia via Safaga and Noweiba harbors on eight ferries.

Two of the three H1N1 victims had arrived from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, but were reported to have been suffering other health problems.

In related news, Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, governor of North Sinai, announced that North Sinai is still free of the H1N1 virus.

Shousha’s statement came after news reports suggested the appearance of an H1N1 case in an illegal Sudanese emigrant who recently arrived to Sinai.

He said the governorate is working with the Ministry of Health to monitor the virus’ status.

Tarek Al-Mahalawy, a government health official, had previously told a local news program that the governorate’s main public hospital, Al-Arish, is equipped with all the necessary medical gear and medication to treat H1N1 cases.

Moreover, Cairo Governor Abdel Azim Wazir announced Tuesday that the governorate dedicated more hospitals to examining suspect cases.

While only Homayat Al-Abbassiya and Imbaba hospitals treated and examined H1N1 patients in Cairo, now Al-Basateen and Nasr City hospitals are also used for the same purpose.

The total number of H1N1 cases in Egypt reached 896, a health ministry press statement issued Sunday said.

According to Nasr Al-Sayed, deputy minister of health, five new cases appeared on Saturday, four of which are Egyptian and one Australian coming from Australia.

Al-Sayed said that number of recovered cases reached 795.

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