By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia have been temporarily halted as a result of the coronavirus epidemic
People who had planned Umrah now cancelled Umrah pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia can now recover visa fees and other charges paid to local Hajj agencies through a new online facility, according to Saudi daily Okaz.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s decision followings a move by Saudi authorities to temporarily suspend entry for Umrah pilgrims because of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
The story added that those with claims need to contact their local Umrah agents to recover the visa costs, while those with further enquiries can reach out to the Ministry’s service section or email email@example.com.
So far, there have been no recorded incidents of the coronavirus in the kingdom.
Saudi authorities have said the temporary suspension – along with the allotment of 2,200 hospital beds for quarantine purposes – are precautionary measures.
“Saudi Arabia feels a sense of responsibility, therefore we took this temporary decisions which will be constantly reviews,” health ministry spokesman Mohammed Abdelali said.
Globally, there have so far been over 89,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with over 3,000 deaths.