Saudi Arabia bars entry for pilgrims amid outbreak fears

Muslims pray at Masjid al-Nabawi immediately after completing the hajj pilgrimage in Medina, Saudi Arabia on August 19, 2019.

Ashraf Amra | Anadolu Agency by means of Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s International Ministry announced it will briefly suspend the entry of foreigners for pilgrimage and tourism reasons, protecting against travel to the country’s holiest web-sites over fears of the rapid-spreading coronavirus.

In a assertion revealed Thursday, Riyadh’s govt stated it was temporarily “suspending entry to the kingdom for the intent of umrah and traveling to the Prophet’s Mosque.”

The choice was taken “to help the attempts of international locations and international companies, specially the Environment Health and fitness Group, to halt the unfold of the virus, command it and remove it,” the ministry added.

The amazing go will stop overseas nationals from achieving the holy city of Mecca and the Kaaba, as properly as Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in the metropolis of Medina.

Saudi authorities pressured the measures have been provisional and would be subject matter to “constant analysis.”

The foreign ministry also named on its individual citizens not to vacation to countries exactly where the deadly flu-like virus was spreading.

Iran at the epicenter of Middle East outbreak

The announcement arrives significantly less than 24 several hours immediately after the World Well being Organization (WHO) confirmed that the selection of new daily COVID-19 scenarios outside China had exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

It follows a unexpected raise of situations in Italy, Iran and South Korea, with the WHO’s director-common describing the uptick in bacterial infections as “deeply disturbing.”

As of Wednesday, the WHO experienced not recognized any confirmed instances of the coronavirus in Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, 9 international locations in the Japanese Mediterranean area have recorded conditions of COVID-19, with Iran at the epicenter of the outbreak in the Middle East.

The Islamic Republic has recorded the highest number of coronavirus fatalities outside China, whilst some area officers have claimed the selection of lifeless and contaminated is truly considerably increased than claimed.

Iran’s wellbeing ministry has turned down the promises.

The ministry claimed there experienced been 139 circumstances of the coronavirus in Iran on Wednesday, with 19 fatalities nationwide.

Earlier this 7 days, Iran’s Deputy Wellness Minister Iraj Harirchi analyzed positive for the coronavirus, pursuing an visual appearance on condition television exactly where he seemed visibly feverish and coughed into a tissue various moments.

In the Middle East, overall health authorities from Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates have all stated they have situations of the coronavirus that stemmed from Iran.

China’s Countrywide Well being Commission described an further 433 conditions of the coronavirus on Thursday, with 29 fatalities nationwide. It provides the country’s complete to 78,497 scenarios, and 2,744 deaths.

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