For Muslims from around the globe, Mecca is the most divine place in their religion. They consider it as the most pious place on land and find them fortunate enough if they ever get to visit this place. It is a central pillar of the Islamic faith meant to cleanse followers of sin and bring them closer to God.
Wednesday morning brought sad news for the pilgrims from the Republic of Congo, The Saudi government has decided to suspend visa issuance to people from Congo, this is not any political barrier.
It is a step to refrain the widespread Ebola virus in the country. Saudi Arabia wants to keep its citizen safe from the virus and that is why it has taken this step to stop pilgrimage from Congo where this virus is widespread and has caused thousands of casualties in the recent past.
Saudi Arabia has suspended issuing visas to pilgrims from the Democratic Republic of the Congo over fears that Ebola could spread during next month’s Hajj pilgrimage there.
It was not clear how many people’s applications had been affected by the move.
The Saudi government also suspended pilgrimage visas for travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia – the three worst-affected countries.
It is not the first time they have taken such step, Saudi Arabia also suspended visas during West Africa’s Ebola outbreak a few years ago in which more than 11,000 people died.
Wednesday morning a note issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited last week’s move by the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the Ebola outbreak in DRC’s eastern North Kivu and Ituri provinces a public health emergency of international concern.WHO has pleaded to all countries to not impose a ban on any country on account of Ebola widespread but Saudi Arabia has ignored this plea of WHO, keeping its citizens safety above international relations.
However, it is still clear how many people’s applications had been affected by the move. But certainly, it is a massive step by the Saudi government keeping in mind the religious sentiments involved.