TEHRAN, Nov. 7 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Health Ministry and the Majlis Health Committee are seriously opposed to allowing Iranians to go on hajj this year due to the swine flu epidemic, MP Mohammad-Reza Rezaii-Kouchi said on Saturday.
However, the Health Ministry and lawmakers have
no jurisdiction over the issue and other officials must decide about whether to
cancel Hajj 2009 for Iranians, Rezaii-Kouchi stated.
But the Health Ministry will not allow people over the age of 60, young children, and pregnant women to go on hajj this year, he added.
The hajj season for lunar year 1430 will occur from November 19 to 28, 2009, depending on the sighting of the new moon marking the beginning of the lunar month of Dh'ul Hijjah. The pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rezaii-Kouchi criticized the Health Ministry for reporting imprecise statistics, saying the health minister had said 50 percent of the people who go on hajj would become infected with the swine flu virus while the deputy health minister said 80 percent would become infected.
The health minister has also announced that swine flu has claimed the lives of 28 of the 250,000 people who have become infected with the disease in Iran, he added.
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