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2020 Hajj pilgrimage in limbo as Saudi Arabia places ban on Mecca Travels over coronavirus fears

A ban by Western Asian country, Saudi Arabia on all travels to its holiest city for Muslims, Mecca, may affect this year’s annual Islamic pilgrimage, Hajj.

Saudi Arabia on Thursday halted travels to Mecca and Medina, allegedly over coronavirus fears.

This drastic measure came about after almost 220 citizens tested positive for the COVID-19 which emerged in Chinese city Wuhan in December last year.

Around eight million Muslims make a trip annually during the holy month of Ramadan.

It is unclear when the visa restrictions will be lifted but if it goes beyond the second week in July, ABC News‘ checks have revealed.

The move is expected to affect the Islamic pilgrimage which was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, July 28 and end on Sunday, August 2, 2020.

Saudi Arabia has also suspended visas for tourists from countries with confirmed cases of the virus.

More than 80,000 people in about 47 countries have so far been infected with the new coronavirus.

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