Saudi Arabia bars Pakistan from signing Hajj agreements
In a latest development, the Saudi government has asked Pakistan not to enter into Hajj agreements, as it cited the situation because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Saudi minister for Hajj gave this advice in a letter addressed to Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs which it received on Thursday.
The letter says the Saudi government is keeping a close eye on the situation and will inform about the future course of action after any improvement.
It is said that the Ministry of Religious Affairs has stopped the work on the Hajj agreements after receiving the letter.
The advice comes as the coronavirus pandemic is spreading across the globe with the World Health Organisation warning that the US may become its next epicentre. Moreover, the health experts from across the globe are advising against any public gatherings and calling for limiting the movement of the people.
The Saudi authorities have already imposed a nationwide curfew, barring entry to and exit from Riyadh and the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah as well as movement between all provinces. It is in addition to the curbs imposed on daily and Friday prayers.
The orders, approved by King Salman and published by state media, also brought forward the start of curfew in the three cities to 3pm from 7pm starting on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia had introduced the 21-day curfew on Monday after registering a jump in infections.
Around 900 coronavirus cases and two deaths have so far been reported in the country.