Turkey suspends registrations for Umrah pilgrimage
MİDDLE EAST

Turkey suspends registrations for Umrah pilgrimage

Decision comes after Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends Umrah entry to all countries due to fears over coronavirus

News Service AA

Turkey has suspended new registrations for Umrah after Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended entry into the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement came on Thursday from the country's top religious body, Diyanet.

"There is no change in the return dates of our Umrah pilgrims in Saudi Arabia," it said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia earlier on Thursday suspended Umrah entry to all countries, local media reported.

Diyanet, however, said the Kingdom is yet to make a statement on confirmed cases in the country.

Saudi Arabia hosts the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Madinah.

Umrah, or the lesser pilgrimage, can be performed at any time during the year.

The coronavirus was first detected in China in December 2019 and has spread to more than 35 other countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India, raising global alarm.

The global death toll is nearly 2,800, and China, where the outbreak originated, is the worst hit, with more than 78,000 cases and over 2,700 fatalities.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

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