No hajj and umrah visas for three African nations says Saudi health ministry

Photo: No hajj and umrah visas for three African nations says Saudi health ministry
 / Arab World

The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) has banned the issuance of Hajj and Umrah visas for Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia because of concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus in these countries, according to Dr. Khalid Marghalani, MOH spokesman.

The ministry constantly coordinates with the ministries of Hajj and Foreign Affairs to take all necessary measures at borders and airports, Saudi Gazette reported.

"We have communicated the instructions to the officials of all ports of entry. We have trained our personnel on how to identify and deal with Ebola cases and control virus infection, should it happen," he added.

For his part, Dr. Hussein Shareef, Ministry of Haj's undersecretary for Haj affairs, said the ministry would take all preventive measures to ensure public health and safety.

Khalid Al-Khaibari, General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) spokesman, said there are no direct flights between the Kingdom and these three African countries except during the Haj season.

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