Premium Times (Abuja)

2 April 2014

West Africa: Saudi Arabia Stops Issuing Hajj Visa to Guinea, Liberia Citizens

In West Africa, the Ebola virus has been deadly, killing at least 110 people. The World Health Organization says the current outbreak is among the ... ( Resource: West Africa's Ebola Outbreak Most Challenging Ever

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced a ban on issuing hajj and umrah visa for citizens of Guinea and Liberia because of reported cases of Ebola infection.

The Saudi Ministry of Health said in Riyadh that the concerned bodies in the two countries had been requested to stop issuing visas for people from Guinea and Liberia.

It said this had become imperative because Saudi Arabia attracted annually, millions of visitors for religious tourism and that the holy cities of Mecca and Medina could be with high potential of contagious disease transmission.

It added that the risk of the disease and its ease of spreading among crowds were of great concern.

It highlighted that the World Health Organisation had not requested any ban on travelling to Guinea and Liberia, but the decision came as a precautionary measure.

It said WHO reported that 112 Ebola cases were registered in Guinea, 70 of whom died, while seven suspected cases were registered in Liberia.

It said the risk of death of confirmed cases is estimated at 62 per cent.

(PANA/NAN)

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