- Saudi Arabia's king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, has been rushed to the Faisal Specialist Hospital
- King Salman was hospitalized on Monday, July 20, over inflammation of the gallbladder
- The news was reported by the Saudi Press Agency
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Disturbing reports from the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) indicate that King Salman bin Abdulaziz has been rushed to hospital over deteriorating health condition.
According to Reuters, the SPA revealed on Monday, July 20, King Abdulaziz was taken to the Faisal Specialist Hospital for medical tests due to inflammation of the gallbladder.
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The news has forced Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the prime minister of Iraq, to cancel his scheduled visit to the kingdom.
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Meanwhile, it was reported that following the spread of coronavirus infection around the world, the Saudi Arabian government had said that this year's Hajj is going ahead but would be restricted to only residents of the country.
This was disclosed in a statement that was shared on the official Twitter page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday, June 22.
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According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the decision to cancel international pilgrimage this year was due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the safety of pilgrims.
The Saudi Arabian government was restricting the hajj rites to various nationalities who already resided in the country due to the uncertainty that surrounds the spread of coronavirus.
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The ministry went on to note that its top priority is to always enable pilgrims to perform Hajj and Umrah safely and securely.
Also, there were reports that Saudi Arabia could limit numbers at the annual hajj pilgrimage to prevent a further outbreak of coronavirus after cases in the country topped 100,000.
Statistics available showed that some 2.5 million pilgrims visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long hajj, from across the world including Nigeria.
The hajj and the lesser, year-round umrah pilgrimage earn the kingdom about $12 billion a year. Sources quoted in the report said authorities are now considering allowing "only symbolic numbers" this year, with restrictions including a ban on older pilgrims and additional health checks.
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