On Thursday, Saudi Arabia has placed a ban on the Umrah pilgrims travelling from all the other nations where the cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, which includes Pakistan, as per the reports of local media.
As per the airport sources, the ban has also been imposed on the ones travelling to the Kingdom on a visit visa. The step taken by the government of Saudi Arabia has come after the confirmation of 2 coronavirus cases in Pakistan.
All the airlines have been asked to notify their passengers to wait for further directives. The foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia said in a statement that the government is suspending entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and for paying a visit to the Masjid-e-Nabwi temporarily.
Umrah attracts tens of thousands of Muslims all across the world per month. The foreign ministry said that it was also suspending visas for the tourists visiting from other nations where the new virus is a threat.
The data from the Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry indicated that as of the last December, Indonesia has contributed the second-highest number of Umrah pilgrims, just below Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia welcomes nearly 7 million Umrah pilgrims on a per year basis, most of whom arrive at the airports in Jeddah and Madina.
Besides the temporary ban, the government of Saudi Arabia would also be imposing a ban on the tourist-visa holders from the nations having a particularly higher risk of the virus to spread.