Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Extends 3 more days for Umrah Pilgrims to Travel to their Home Country

Day after another, the situation of Coronavirus is becoming worse only. From only in Wuhan, China, the deadly disease started infecting people across different regions, countries and now officially declared as a pandemic by WHO. Italy, the biggest tourism hub, has cut down all links with the country as the nation becomes a severe victim of the deadly disease. The countries have started taking strict precautions in schools, colleges, universities are closed. The tours and business trips are canceled.

Massive advertisements on teaching the essential precautionary measure among people are arranged. Saudi Arabia, who previously took stringent action to avoid any chance of infection by restricting pilgrimage and banning some 50 different countries, still got a reasonable number of affected patients. However, with effective treatment, a few have recovered from the disease.

Yet, as a safety precaution, the country announced that within 72 hours all the Saudi expats and the Saudi citizens outside the kingdom should come back in the territory. We have written a detailed analysis of the statement made by the officials in our previous article. However, big news came up today as the deadline is over. What is the big news? Read all about it in the article below.

The Deadline is not over yet for Pakistani Umrah Pilgrims

As a precautionary measure to restrict the Coronavirus, the suspension of flights for 2 weeks has begun today. However, the deadline for Pakistani Umrah pilgrims to return to Saudi Arabia has been extended by 3 more days. Read more: Saudi Arabia Announces to Cancel International Flights for 2 weeks from March 15

Why is the Deadline Extended for Pakistani Umrah Pilgrims?

According to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesman Abdullah Hafeez,

Saudi authorities have extended 3 more days to return the Umrah pilgrims. PIA requested Saudi authorities to increase the delay in bringing back the Umrah pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, on which Saudi authorities extended PIA until March 18, 2020.

What did the Spokesperson Advise the Pakistani Umrah Pilgrims?

The spokesperson requested the Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia to contact the PIA as soon as possible so that the number of Pakistani Umrah pilgrims and others could be estimated, and further flights can be arranged if needed to bring back Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia. Read more: Saudi Arabia Temporarily Bans 50 Countries from Travelling to the Kingdom

How many Pilgrims have been Estimated to Travel after the Deadline?

According to a PIA spokesperson, different PIA flights from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan will arrive on Sunday, according to which,

  • 188 passengers will be arriving on Monday from the first flight,
  • 338 pilgrims will come to Pakistan on Monday from another plane.

Are Other International Flights still being Operated?

No, all other international flights have been suspended. According to the local newspaper, the Saudi Department of Passport (Saudi Jawazat) has issued a statement on Twitter saying that,

The execution of the international flight suspension decision will begin for 2 weeks from Sunday. The deadline for the Saudi Iqama holders returning to Saudi Arabia has expired today, with all international flights being suspended.

What will Happen to those who haven’t Reached the Kingdom yet?

As informed earlier, the Saudi Interior Ministry has said that,

After the deadline, citizens & Saudi expats who could not come back due to the suspension of domestic flights will be considered on special leave from offices and jobs.

This is an excellent initiative by Saudi Arabia to extend the time for Pakistani pilgrims to come back to their homeland. Further, the announcement to arrange special flights for the trapped citizens in Coronavirus countries shows the concern the country officials hold for their citizens. Wish them luck. Till then, please share our article and subscribe to every update. 

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