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Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends entry to Umrah pilgrimage over coronavirus fears

Over the escalating fear of coronavirus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia on Thursday issued a statement that entry for individuals planning to visit the country for the purpose of 'Umrah' (Pilgrimage) or for visiting Prophet's mosque in Medina.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: February 27, 2020 8:12 IST
Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends entry to country for Umrah pilgrimage over coronavirus fears
Image Source : AP

Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends entry to country for Umrah pilgrimage over coronavirus fears

Over the escalating fear of the deadly coronavirus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia on Thursday issued a statement announcing the suspension of entry for individuals planning to visit the country for the purpose of 'Umrah' (Pilgrimage) or for visiting Prophet's mosque in Medina. Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a tweet said: "Entry to the country for the purpose of Umrah (pilgrimage) and/ or visiting the Prophet's mosque in Medina is temporarily suspended. 

The statement posted by the country's foreign ministry on its Twitter handle said that Saudi Arabia is "suspending entry into the kingdom with tourist visas for those coming from countries in which the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is a danger, according to the criteria determined by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom".

The statement further mentioned that the country is suspending the use of national identity cards by Saudi nationals and citizens of the Gulf to travel to and from the kingdom, "except for Saudis who are abroad if their exit from the kingdom is with the national identity card, and citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries currently inside the Kingdom, and wish to return from it to their countries, in case that their entry was with the national identity card".

The statement further said that the Kingdom affirms that these procedures are temporary and are "subject to continuous evaluation by the competent authority".

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, reported that the number of new cases outside China on Tuesday exceeded the number of new infections inside the country for the first time. The number in China was 412, while the tally in the rest of the world was 459.

About 81,000 people around the globe have been sickened by the coronavirus that kept finding new targets. With Brazil confirming the arrival of Latin America’s first case, the virus had a toehold on every continent but Antarctica.

 

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