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Turkish authorities quarantine Umrah passengers

Turkish authorities quarantine Umrah passengers

Head of Turkish Religious Affairs said at least 5,300 passengers on Sunday returned from Umrah.
15.03.2020 - 14:56

All passengers returning from the Umrah pilgrimage since last night have been placed in separate rooms of dormitories as part of coronavirus quarantine measures, the Turkish health minister announced Sunday.


Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that people suspected of the coronavirus were taken to a hospital to be tested, adding that the passengers were placed in dormitories in the capital Ankara and in the central province of Konya.

Early Sunday, the minister "insistently" asked the passengers returning from Umrah not to leave their homes and not to accept visitors for 14 days.

"Passing the medical screening does not mean zero risk," Head of Turkish Religious Affairs, Ali Erbaş said, adding that, unfortunately, the coronavirus test of a citizen who returned from Umrah in the last week turned out to be positive.

Turkish authorities quarantine Umrah passengers WATCH

On Feb. 27, Saudi Arabia suspended the entry of pilgrims seeking to perform Umrah, or minor pilgrimages, over fears of the outbreak.

Following the decision, Turkey has also suspended new registrations for Umrah, but said that there was no change in the return dates of the Umrah pilgrims.

Turkey so far has six confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.