Duvar English - Anadolu AgencyMuslims in Turkey's Urfa dismiss religious authority's decision to suspend mass prayers in mosques
Payments, preparations and other procedures for would-be Turkish pilgrims to Saudi Arabia have been halted indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic, Turkish authorities announced on March 27.
Training for Hajj candidates and procedures for luggage, books, and other materials and employee selection and training have all been halted until further notice, said Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet).
Payments for people who already paid the first installment for pilgrimages have been postponed, it added in a statement.
Most of the pilgrims who returned to Turkey from Umrah were put under quarantine in student dormitories across the country.Turkey suspends mass prayers in mosques to halt virus spread
Earlier this month Saudi officials suspended the Umrah pilgrimages until further notice over the outbreak.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 176 countries and territories, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
More than 537,000 cases have been reported worldwide since last December, with the death toll above 24,000 and over 123,000 recoveries.