Saudi halts Guinea, Liberia pilgrim visas over Ebola

April 1, 2014

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced the suspension of visas for Muslim pilgrims from Guinea and Liberia, two African countries hit by an outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic.

The "preventive" measure came at the request of the Saudi health ministry "due to the danger of the disease and its highly contagious" nature, state news agency SPA reported.

The World Health Organisation has said it is not recommending travel or trade restrictions to Guinea, Liberia, or to Sierra Leone, which has reported suspected cases of Ebola, based on information currently available.

Once a year Muslims perform the hajj pilgrimage to the Saudi city of Mecca, home to Islam's holiest sites, but they can make the minor umrah pilgrimage to the kingdom all year round.

Medical aid organisation Doctors Without Borders said Monday that the Ebola outbreak suspected of killing at least 78 people in Guinea since January was an "unprecedented epidemic" that had spread across the west African nation.

Guinean health authorities have recorded 122 suspected cases and 78 deaths.

The tropical virus leads to haemorrhagic fever, causing muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.

Explore further: Fears Guinea Ebola outbreak has spread to Sierra Leone

Related Stories

Liberia confirms first Ebola cases

March 31, 2014

Liberia has confirmed two cases of the deadly Ebola virus that is suspected to have killed at least 78 people in neighbouring Guinea, according to the World Health Organization.

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.