Saudi Arabia fears for 2020 Hajj over coronavirus outbreak

Ghanaian pilgrims with hopes of traveling to Saudi Arabia for this year’s hajj may have to forfeit those plans.

This is because Saudi Arabia has suspended visas into the country for any religious activity over fears of the deadly coronavirus, the BBC has reported.

The Kingdom hosts millions of Muslims who visit its cities of Mecca and Medina for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Tourist visas have also been closed to persons from countries with reported cases of coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia has so far not recorded any case of the disease but has expressed fears over the alarming increase in cases in its neighboring countries.

Though it said the suspension was temporal, it has not given any specific timelines to when the ban will be lifted.

“The kingdom’s government has decided to take the following precautions: suspending entry to the kingdom for the purpose of umrah and visit to the Prophet’s mosque temporarily,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added, “suspending entry into the kingdom with tourist visas for those coming from countries, in which the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is a danger”.

The pilgrimage was expected to start in July. It is one of the rites of passage for Muslims.

It is estimated, that 2.5 million pilgrims from across the world visited Mecca to perform the rite in 2019.

The hajj is also considered to be one of the greatest sources of revenue for Saudi Arabia. This means, the indefinite suspension on the Umrah, is likely to take a toll on the country’s revenue mobilization.

China, the epicenter of the coronavirus (COVID-19), has been recording low casualties within the last few days.

Despite this, Europe and some Asian countries seem to be recording high numbers of infections and death cases.

Countries like Denmark and Estonia have also recorded fresh cases of the disease.

  1. Issah Imoro says

    This is fake news. It is Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) VISA’s that has been temporarily suspended and not Hajj so please edit. And with the suspension of the VISA’s, pilgrimage site is still open for those within Saudi Arabia to perform so it is erroneous to report that pilgrimage has been suspended. So kindly edit your publication.

  2. Anonymous says

    The headline is misleading and it’s due to ignorance. The quotation from the Foreign affaires of KSA said Umrah and visitation of the prophets mosque. That’s different from Hajj.

    1. Somo says

      We were told African countries are not
      affected with the coronavirus .if they could let African countries to go to perform pilgrimage. It would have be good. May Allah protect us all

  3. Anonymous says

    How will u say is fake news. That’s the fact and I’m in total support for the conception.

  4. Anonymous says

    God is not in a “place” and does not need us to connect to material things.

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