Saudi Arabia suspends visas for pilgrims

The Kingdom has started denying entry over COVID-19 fears

Umrah attracts tens of thousands of Muslims from around the world each month
Umrah attracts tens of thousands of Muslims from around the world each month

Saudi Arabia has suspended visas for pilgrims wishing to visit Mekkah. According to sister publication Arabian Business, the decision was made over fears of the coronavirus.

The government is "suspending entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet's Mosque temporarily", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Umrah attracts tens of thousands of Muslims from around the world each month.

Arabian Business noted that though cases of the virus within China have dropped, there has been a spike across the rest of Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Within the region, Iran has emerged as one of the worst impacted areas. Following a surge in reports, Kuwait and Bahrain airports both suspended all Iranian operations earlier this week. 

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