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Sun 12 Jul 2009 10:45 AM

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Qatar rules out Haj ban despite swine flu threat

Haj Committee rules out banning citizens from attending Saudi pilgrimage.

Qatar’s Haj Committee has ruled out restricting the number of pilgrims attending Haj due to the spread of swine flu, it was reported on Sunday.

Jassim Al Kubeisi, the deputy chairman of the Haj Committee told the Gulf Times that the committee would issue a statement soon clarifying its stance.

“Until now we have not issued any instructions to the (Haj trip) contractors. But we will go by any directives which Saudi Arabia views as necessary to protect the pilgrims and reduce the spread of the swine flu,” he said.

Al Kubeisi said that committee, which includes representatives from the Health Ministry, the Qatar Red Crescent, the Ministry of Awqaf and Isalmic Affairs, and the Ministry of Interior, would take all of the necessary measures to prevent infections among pilgrims from Qatar visiting Saudi Arabia.

“We should deal with the virus in a reasonable way without overestimating or underestimating it. It is not as dangerous as some people had thought in the beginning.”

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