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Keep Safe During Your Pilgrimage to Mecca

The end of September 2015 marks Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca when more than two million people will be making their way to Saudi Arabia. With concerns of stampedes and the spread of illness from past years’ news coverage, those making the trip need to be sure they’re keeping safe whilst overseas.

The Islamic holiday Hajj is expected to fall between the 21st and 26th September 2015 in Saudi Arabia. Islamic holidays abide by the Islamic lunar calendar, and so the Muslim community will follow the city’s determination of when it will precisely begin.

More than two million people flock from all over the world to take part in the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Whereas many describe the holiday as a “peaceful” experience, with such large crowds any event has the potential to result in injuries if health and safety isn’t sufficiently managed.

An extreme and devastating example is the potential risk of stampedes, as seen in previous years. The Daily Mail reported 14 people were fatally injured during the stoning ritual due to a stampede. The article states, “As in previous years, the deaths occurred after a sleepless night of prayers at the climax of the annual Hajj, where 2 million Muslim pilgrims had gathered.”

At any festival, public liability insurance both protects organisers in the event of a compensation claim, and encourages attention to the health and safety of attendees in avoiding a personal injury claim.

If you are planning to attend a festival abroad – religious or otherwise – it is important that you purchase travel insurance so that you are covered in the event of an accident. This can be specified for attending a festival, or any other activities abroad.

For more information on the importance of travel insurance when heading to overseas festivals, see our previous blog here.

MERS Warning

Concerns of a MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus outbreak may have some people anxious about the infection. Whereas a compensation claim would not be the same as an illness outbreak from contaminated food – wherein you could pursue a food poisoning compensation claim, we have outlined some of the facts about MERS, and measures that you can take to prevent the illness.

MERS Facts:

• MERS is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus (a family of viruses that includes the common cold);

• Symptoms include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath;

• It can cause kidney failure and pneumonia;

• Spreads between people in close contact;

• Since first being reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 over 100 people have died from MERS.

Research into the source of MERS continues and currently there is no vaccine or specific treatment other than supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Tips to Avoid Respiratory Illness:

• Wash hands with soap / hand sanitizer often;

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away;

• Don’t touch mouth, eyes or nose with unwashed hands;

• Avoid close contact with sick people;

• Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs.

If you are injured in an accident overseas during Hajj, specialist Travel Litigation lawyers can help you to pursue a compensation claim for any damages.

At Slater and Gordon Lawyers, we have Travel Litigation Solicitors who specialise in Travel Law Claims across the UK.

If you or a member of your family were injured in an accident whilst travelling on commercial or public transport call us for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9046 or from abroad on +44 20 7657 155 or contact us online and we will call you.

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