Virus scare: ‘Umrah’ passengers turned back from Saudi Arabia

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Lucknow: Nearly 128 passengers traveling to Saudi Arabia from various districts of Uttar Pradesh for ‘Umrah’ were turned back from Saudi Arabia which has imposed travel curbs following the coronavirus scare.

The passengers who returned to Lucknow late on Thursday evening created an uproar at the Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport demanding to know why they were not informed of the curbs prior to departure.

Umrah, an important religious practice among Muslims, is performed throughout the year in Saudi Arabia.

The curbs imposed by the Saudi government do not apply to passengers traveling with employment visas.

According to airport officials, the Saudi government did not allow more than 3,000 passengers from more than a dozen flights to reach Jeddah and Madina airport from India. Not only this, but the Etihad Airlines plane from Kolkata was also sent back from Dubai.

Passengers were assured by concerned authorities that their visas would remain intact and that whenever the travel ban is lifted, they will be allowed to travel on the same visa and ticket.

Feb 28 (IANS)

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