Saudi Arabia on Ebola watch as millions gather for Hajj

Daily Times: MAKKAH: Anxious to safeguard Hajj pilgrimage from the threat of Ebola, Saudi authorities are screening pilgrims arriving from West Africa and have deployed mobile laboratories to test any suspected cases quickly.
The kingdom expects nearly 3 million pilgrims in Makkah this year, including 1.4 million from abroad. The health ministry said on Thursday it has been working with the World Health Organisation and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contain the threat of Ebola, which has killed 3,300 people in West Africa this year. “We came from Lagos and went through screening there and again have been tested here in Saudi, so for sure we don’t have anything,” said Abdelsamad Shoudany, a Nigerian doctor standing outside the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
Inside, huge numbers of people were performing the first of the Hajj rites, walking around the Kaaba. Few of the pilgrims, who dress in simple white towelling robes, were wearing face masks or surgical gloves to protect them against the transmission of Ebola or other diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). “I’ve waited all my life to come here and honestly I wish to die here, so getting a virus is the last of my fears. As you see, I’m already in a wheelchair,” said Ismail Saleh, a 71-year-old pilgrim from Egypt.

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