Saudi Arabia on Friday barred citizens from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) from entering two of Muslim’s holiest cities amid fears over the new coronavirus, the foreign ministry said.

The decision to halt access to Mecca and Medinah comes a day after the kingdom suspended visas for the year-round “umrah” pilgrimage, an unprecedented move that has left tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims around the world in limbo. The GCC states include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar.

Are there any coronavirus cases in Saudia?

Saudi Arabia has so far reported no coronavirus cases but there are mounting concerns over a spike in infections across the Middle East, including neighbouring Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE.


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