- Authorities in Saudi Arabia have started restricting visitors to the holy city of Mecca
- The move is aimed at ensuring the virus does not find its way into the well-populated city
- The coronavirus continues to spread in various Arab countries and other parts of the world
Saudi Arabian government on Thursday, February 27 suspended visas for pilgrims wishing to visit the holy city of Mecca over coronavirus fears.
This was announced by the foreign ministry of the Kingdom said in a statement sent to journalists.
“The government is suspending entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet's Mosque temporarily,” part of the statement read.
Some Gulf states like Iran are already battling with coronavirus with 17 recently declared dead.
Iraj Harirchi, Iran’s deputy health minister, was recently infected and has been placed under quarantine.
After the announcement confirming Harirchi had the virus, the deputy health minister posted a video saying he had the disease and had quarantined himself at home.
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Meanwhile, oil prices have fallen as concerns about the global spread of the coronavirus causes anxiety among investors.
Oil prices fell over 2% on Monday, February 24 as the spread of the virus left investors worried about a potential fall in demand.
A senior market analyst, Edward Moya, argued that oil prices are likely to remain vulnerable as the coronavirus became a global pandemic.