The CoronaVirus (COVID-19) is not a single virus but is a group of multiple viruses that can cause respiratory illness. This virus emerges from an animal source but now is spreading from person to person. As global Coronavirus case numbers continue to rise, therefore governments around the world decided to close all schools, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, and other public places. International sports matches and other large events have also been banned. Governments are also imposing strict restrictions on travel from one country to another. This Corona Virus has affected tourism to a great extent as most of the countries suspended travel and tourism visas. The Hajj and Umrah are the major pilgrimages of Muslim peoples, but due to the Coronavirus government of Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended pilgrimage to the holy site of Mecca.
Presently, both overseas pilgrims and residents of Saudi are not allowed to enter into the holy land Mecca and Medina. This decision of the government has a great impact on the pilgrimage who wishes to perform Umrah. The Umrah is the holy pilgrimage that can be taken out at any time of the year and can be completed in a few hours. However, the Hajj is undertaken on specific dates of the year and is more time – consuming. And this year Hajj is expected to take place from 28th July to 2nd August. This year more than 50,000 people have already applied to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. Whether or not the restrictions will extend to Hajj, will depend on the status of the Coronavirus. The ban has been also enforced on the Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque nearby holy city, Medina.
The tour and travel restrictions have put inconvenience to many overseas pilgrims who had already booked the Umrah packages with flights. Multiple travel agencies in Canada, America, Australia, UK, Lebanon, Jordan are suffering from great loss due to the ban on the Umrah pilgrimage. The most critical thing is that no time limit has been given by the officials on the last of the ban. But it has been heard by the people of Saudi Arab that if the ban lasts for 5-7 days then the authorities of Saudi Arabia will reschedule the already booked packages for Umrah.
The tourism and capital market hit by the Coronavirus will have an impact on the economy of Saudi Arab. This will also tend to decrease in crude oil prices.
If you are suffering from the above symptoms for more than 7 days then you should contact your doctor.