Six months of preparation for healthy Hajj

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Pilgrims preparing for the Hajj
WHO/Andrew Eseibo

Six months of preparation has gone into ensuring that Muslims on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia remain healthy; that's according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The UN agency has been working with the Saudi authorities who have sent an additional 25,000 medical staff to the religious gathering known as the Hajj.

Daniel Dickinson reports

A total of around two million pilgrims are expected in Mecca for the Hajj which culminates on Wednesday.

Caring for the health of all those people is a massive undertaking.

This year WHO has said it's particularly concerned about the possible spread of the Corona MERS virus following a case in a hospital in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, earlier in the month.

Here's Fadela Chaib speaking from Saudi Arabia

"WHO is concerned mainly by the MERS Corona virus, a virus which can circulate easily among this big number of people."

So far there have been no reported cases at Mecca.

There’s no cure for MERS, whose initial symptoms resemble the common cold.

The agency advises frequent hand-washing and the wearing of masks in big gatherings of people.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 52"

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