Corona Virus: Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends Umrah for citizens and residents

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In the Great Mosque of Mecca

Image source
AFP / Getty Images

Saudi Arabia decided to temporarily suspend Umrah for its citizens and residents, fearing the spread of the new Corona virus.

The official news agency, which published the statement of the Ministry of Interior, said that the government “will review the decision to suspend continuously and suspend it, if the reasons that prompted it are negated.”

The authorities also decided to prohibit visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in the city.

The Riyadh decision comes after the suspension of issuing Umrah visas for people coming from abroad, and preventing citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries from entering Mecca and Medina.

Saudi Arabia announced on Monday its first infection with the Corona virus, after the return of one of its citizens from Iran, which is spreading Covid-19 virus, and confirmed his infection after examination.

And the kingdom’s unprecedented decision created a situation of uncertainty for millions of Muslims, and created confusion about the pilgrimage, which is due at the end of July.

It is also known that the Kingdom is witnessing large numbers of pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah during the month of Ramadan, especially during the last ten days of it. Ramadan is expected to start on April 24.

The holy sites in Saudi Arabia, which attract millions of pilgrims every year, are a potential source of transmission, but it is also an important source of financial returns for the government.

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