The government of Saudi Arabia has taken a huge step over coronavirus outbreak. Saudi Arabia has suspended foreigners’ entry for Umrah and tourism from countries where the deadly disease has spread.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed that the ban is temporary; however, no timeframe has been provided for their expiry.
The Kingdom which hosts the two holiest sites of Islam in Makkah and Madina welcomes millions of Muslims visitors throughout the year with a peak for Hajj.
Now the question is Hajj – scheduled to begin in late July – will be impacted or not? When will the coronavirus problem finally be solved?
According to the statistics of World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 has claimed lives of more than 2,800 peoples all over the world and 82,000 cases have been confirmed.
The organization stated that the coronavirus has been detected in almost 28 countries.
WHO stated that out of 82,000 cases of coronavirus 78,000 cases have been confirmed in China and 2,747 deaths have been reported from the mainland.
The deadly disease has also reached Pakistan, as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza has confirmed two cases in Pakistan.
The World Health Organization and China National Health Commission have reported that the total number of recovered people from coronavirus is 32,531.
In another report it is stated that the number of people killed by the virus is only 8percent, while 92% of people recovered despite being infected with the coronavirus.
The report further informed that people recovered over the past week from coronavirus is higher than in new cases.
WHO has reported that the situation in China is improving; however the daily number of infections worldwide is higher than in China.
WHO Chief said, “Yesterday, the number of cases reported outside China exceeded the number of cases in China for the first time.”
This report underscored the alarming situation for the world and is become a major concern. The WHO also warned that the world is ‘simply not ready’ for this epidemic.
Saudi Arabia Government’s steps
The Saudi Ministry of Health has developed new rules for the prevention of the coronavirus. The Saudi government has banned flight operations with Iran and Pakistan.
Along with these two countries, the Saudi government has also suspended movement of citizens of Gulf Operation Council (GCC) countries.
Saudi Arabia has also suspended the foreigners’ entry in the country.
The extraordinary decision by Saudi Arabia prevents foreigners from reaching the holy city of Mecca and the Kaaba. It also said travel was suspended to Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina.
Saudi Arabia has had no cases of the coronavirus but it has been spreading in some neighbouring countries.
What about Hajj?
The Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia has not provided any timeframe for the expiry of suspension which means that the status of Hajj is still unclear. The outbreak of the deadly diseases has created panic among the world and the cure or vaccine has been developed yet. Some reports suggest that initial testing of a potential vaccine could begin in April but the process of testing and approvals would last at least a year. No cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia yet which means the government will try its level best to prevent the country from this deadly disease and can take stern steps in this regard.