Saudi Arabia Ambassador in Islamabad breaks silence over reports of travel ban on Pakistani Umrah Pilgrims

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Saudi Arabia Ambassador in Islamabad breaks silence over reports of travel ban on Pakistani Umrah Pilgrims

*ISLAMABAD - **Saudi Arabia Ambassador in Islamabad breaks silence over reports of travel ban on Pakistani Umrah Pilgrims.*

*Pakistani Umrah pilgrims will be able to visit Saudi Arabia as the situation improves, said Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said al-Malki.*

The Saudi envoy further said that travel ban on Umrah pilgrims in on ‘temporary basis,' which will be lifted as the situation improves. Malki said that Pakistani Umrah pilgrims will not need to renew their Umrah visas, they can use their existing Umrah visas once the travel restrictions are lifted.

Saudi Arabia on Thursday placed an immediate ban on Umrah pilgrims travelling from the countries where coronavirus cases have been confirmed including Pakistan, after two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the country.

In a statement the Kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the country has temporarily suspended entry of individuals seeking to perform Umrah pilgrimage or visiting the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah.

The statement further said that these precautions are temporary and are subject to continuous evaluation by the authorities. The kingdom has not reported cases of the coronavirus, but surrounding Bahrain and Kuwait have confirmed cases.

The deadly virus originated in China some three weeks ago and has killed over 2,000 people. The virus also spread into other countries, including Iran, Italy, Brazil and Spain.