The World Health Organisation (WHO) has alerted Zimbabwe’s Health Ministry to a surge in COVID-19 cases following the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage, which drew nearly two million Muslims to Mecca.

WHO recommends increased surveillance, five-day quarantine periods, and public awareness campaigns to mitigate the risk of new infections.

The letter comes as Zimbabwe battles an influenza outbreak that has claimed lives.

Nearby Senegal has already reported 78 COVID-19 cases among returning pilgrims.