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Saudi Arabia Suspends Entry For Annual Umrah Pilgrimage Amid Coronavirus Concerns

A Muslim worshipper prays as pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the min



A Muslim worshipper prays as pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage known as Umrah, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, June 22, 2017.  (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended entry to the kingdom for the Umrah Islamic pilgrimage and visits to al Masjid Al Nabawy in Medina, the ministry of foreign affairs announced on Twitter on Thursday amid fears over the spread of the new coronavirus. In 2017, over 6 million people traveled to Saudi Arabia for the Umrah pilgrimage, according to Arab News.

The kingdom has also suspended entry to Saudi Arabia for anyone with tourism visas from countries where coronavirus is a threat. The Foreign Ministry called on citizens not to travel to countries where the new coronavirus is spreading.

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