Saudi Arabia has introduced a number of measures to prevent the spread of a new type of coronavirus in its territory. This was announced on Wednesday by the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry. In particular, the government ordered to suspend the entry into the country of persons with the aim of performing the umra – a small Hajj, which Muslims perform at any time, except for the month of a big Hajj.
In addition, tourists from countries where “an outbreak of coronavirus was detected in accordance with the criteria of the competent health authorities” of Saudi Arabia were temporarily banned from visiting the kingdom. Authorities also imposed restrictions on the use by residents of Gulf Cooperation Council member states of a national identity card instead of a passport for entering and leaving the country. The agency emphasized their willingness to support countries and international organizations, in particular the World Health Organization (WHO), in their measures to combat coronavirus.
The outbreak of the disease caused by the new coronavirus was recorded at the end of December 2019 in the most populous city of Central China – the 12 million populated Wuhan. WHO recognized it as an emergency on an international scale, describing it as an epidemic with many foci. According to the latest data, in total, about 81.2 thousand people fell ill with the new type of coronavirus in the world. Of these, more than 2.7 thousand died, and over 30.3 thousand were cured. In addition to China, where the virus was first detected, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in more than 30 countries.