Turkey: Passengers from Umrah quarantined in dormitories

World
Sun, 15 Mar 2020 13:56 GMT
Suspected cases taken to hospital to be tested for coronavirus, says Turkish health minister All passengers returning from the Umrah pilgrimage since last night have been placed in separate rooms of dormitories as part of coronavirus quarantine measures,...
Turkey: Passengers from Umrah quarantined in dormitories

Suspected cases taken to hospital to be tested for coronavirus, says Turkish health minister

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," he said, adding that, unfortunately, the coronavirus test of a citizen who returned from Umrah in the last week turned out to be positive.

Ali Erbas, head of Turkish Religious Affairs, said at least 5,300 passengers on Sunday returned from Umrah.

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.

Umrah is a voluntary minor pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina that Muslims can perform at any time of the year.

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

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 141 countries and territories.

The global death toll from the virus has surpassed 5,700 with more than 152,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

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