Iran bans Mecca visits over swine flu

Iran has banned all pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in an attempt to contain the spread of swine flu. Health officials said no Iranians would remain in Saudi Arabia after 22 August. Mecca is a popular destination for Muslims undergoing the spiritual experience of fasting during Ramadan. Arab health ministers have already agreed to prevent vulnerable groups of people from joining the larger Hajj pilgrimage, taking place in November. “We will have no pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during the month of Ramadan,” Health Minister Mohammad Bagher Lankarani was quoted as saying by the Isna news agency.


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