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Saudi ignores plea by WHO, bans pilgrims, from DRC, 3 other countries over Ebola scare

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Saudi ignores plea by WHO, bans pilgrims, from DRC, 3 other countries over Ebola scare

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has imposed a travel suspension on pilgrims and travelers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over fears that the dreaded Ebola virus could spread during next month’s Hajj pilgrimage.

Reports say the decision was announced in a note issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

Three other countries including Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia were also included in the travel suspension in a move which the Saudi foreign ministry says is to ensure well-being of Hajj pilgrims.

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“The granting of arrivals visas for people entering from DRC has been stopped, to conserve the well-being of pilgrims,” the Saudi ministry’s note said.

The visa suspension by Saudi Arabia comes days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) pleaded during its international emergency declaration that no country should close its borders or place any restrictions on travel or trade because of Ebola urging governments elsewhere in Africa and around the world not to “panic” in response to the outbreak of the virus.

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