Ambassador Tamim Al-Dosari, deputy minister of foreign affairs for consular affairs, said on March 1st that Saudi Arabia has suspended temporarily Umrah visas for all countries and tourism visas for some countries while the rest of the types of visas are open and available. He made the remarks while addressing a press conference of the committee to follow up on the Coronavirus-related developments in the Kingdom.
Regarding the delegations that will participate in the G20 summit, to be hosted by the Kingdom in 2020, Al-Dosari revealed that the health regulations being followed by the Kingdom with regard to all passengers will be applicable to the delegates also. “There has been coordination between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Secretariat for the G20 Summit in this regard,” he said. A spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that work visas have not been stopped in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus in many countries.
Speaking at the press conference, spokesman of the Ministry of Health said that the Kingdom has equipped 25 hospitals to deal with any Corona related infection. “The Kingdom has operated special flight services to evacuate citizens from endemic areas, and took the necessary health measures in the case of those returned to the Kingdom from these regions,” he said while emphasizing that there have been no Corona cases reported so far in the Kingdom.
Deputy Minister of Haj and Umrah for Umrah Affairs stated that the ministry started stopping the electronic system for issuing Umrah visas and the visa processing system. “The precautionary measures were circulated to the Umrah companies and establishments operating in the Kingdom in addition to their foreign agents.”
He said that there were 469,000 Umrah pilgrims and visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque in the Kingdom at the time of issuing the decision to suspend the entry of Umrah pilgrims, of which 106,000 pilgrims have left the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the General Authority of Customs announced the suspension of exports through its land, sea and air customs outlets for all medical and laboratory products, supplies and equipment used to detect or prevent new Coronavirus in accordance with the list approved by the Ministry of Health. These products include protective clothing, medicines, body-wrapped medical suits, protective eyeglasses, and medical masks.
This comes in the implementation of the recommendations of the ministerial committee to take all necessary precautions and measures to prevent the outbreak of the epidemic.