The coronavirus, which has spread to over 60 countries globally has now reached Saudi Arabia on Monday. The country confirmed its first case that comes from Iran. The news triggered fear among pilgrims who were planning to visit the Holy place for Umrah and Hajj.
A Saudi citizen, who came from Iran through Bahrain, has tested positive for the virus, according to the Saudi Press Agency. “Within the framework of the ongoing precautionary measures, the Ministry sent an infection control team immediately to examine the citizen. The sample confirmed that he was infected with the virus,” the agency quoted country’s health ministry as saying.
Ministry said the individual is currently isolated at the hospital. The Government has also isolated individuals who interacted with the confirmed case.
The Kingdom was free from the virus for more than three months. But, now the Kingdom has received its first coronavirus patient. Almost all those infected in the Middle East have recently travelled to Iran.
However, Saudi Arabia is ready to deal with the situation. 25 hospitals are ready to handle any coronavirus cases that might be detected in the kingdom. As part of precautionary measures, Saudi Arabia closed its borders to foreign umrah pilgrims.
Fears for Hajj, Umrah as coronavirus reaches Saudi Kingdom
Moreover, last week, Saudi Arabia halted Umrah trips to the two holy cities due to the coronavirus scare. The kingdom said the suspension is temporary and subject to regular review. However, pilgrims who are planning to visit the Holy place are now fearing if they will be given an opportunity to visit the Holy Kaaba.
Thousands of Pakistanis have submitted their application for the Hajj scheme, despite dangers of novel coronavirus looms. To date, some 66,585 Hajj applications have been received in 13 designated banks across the country.
For Muslims, performing Hajj is one of the lifetime dreams. Many are currently finalizing plans for hajj pilgrimage, which begins at the end of July. In conclusion, it is unclear when the country’s restrictions will be lifted.
Coronavirus outbreaks worldwide
Furthermore, in Iran, the number of those infected rose by 523 to 1,501. The death toll from the virus rose from 54 to 66. The virus has killed more people in Iran than anywhere except China. A team from the World Health Organization arrived in Tehran on Monday with medical supplies, protective equipment for health care workers. They also provided laboratory kits to test nearly 100,000 people.
Around 89,000 people are so far infected with the virus worldwide. The first new cases were reported on Monday in Andorra, Armenia, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Iceland and Indonesia.