Coronavirus: Morocco backs Saudi Arabia’s Umrah suspension measure

Morocco has expressed backing to Saudia Arabia’s temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims from a number of countries, describing the measure as “judicious and responsible” in view of the threats posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Morocco considers the measures adopted by Saudi Arabia to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic as “judicious and responsible”, knowing that pilgrims converge on the Holy Places from different parts of the world, the ministry of Foreign Affairs said Sunday.

These measures have been taken in view of the continuing spread of the coronavirus epidemic, in accordance with the preventive measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministry said in a statement, noting that all countries are called upon to take preventive measures at national levels.

Saudi Arabia announced its decision to temporarily suspend the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca and the visits to the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina on Thursday, Feb.27.

The Saudi announcement is part of the measures put in place to ensure public safety in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called in its statement on Moroccan citizens to respect these measures and to respond favorably to them.
Coronavirus is spreading to more countries globally, with Algeria, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Estonia, Ireland, and Denmark confirming first cases.

The COVID-19 is currently spreading more quickly in Europe, the Middle East and other parts of the world than in China where the virus first emerged in the central city of Wuhan at the end of last year, with Italy, Iran and South Korea emerging as new hotspots.

The virus has so far infected 87,694 people with a death casualty nearing 3000.

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