Via the Saudi Gazette: No MERS effect on pilgrimage. Excerpt:
Haj Minister Bandar Al-Hajjar has refuted reports that a number of Muslim countries had banned their citizens from traveling to Saudi Arabia for Haj or Umrah because of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which is caused by coronavirus.
“The virus has not had any adverse effect on the Umrah or Haj seasons,” he said.
The minister on Tuesday opened a workshop in Jeddah on the development of the ministry’s data applications on Haj locations in the holy sites and other Saudi towns and cities.
The workshop was titled: “Exchange of expertise and creativity.” “The government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has provided all the required human, technical and financial resources to extend the best of services to the guests of Allah,” he said.
Al-Hajjar said the government spends billions of riyals every year on Haj services including the expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah in addition to schemes covering the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.