Turkey extends quarantine of Umrah pilgrimage returnees

Turkey extends quarantine of Umrah pilgrimage returnees

ANKARA – Demirören News Agency
Turkey extends quarantine of Umrah pilgrimage returnees

DHA Photo

Turkey on March 30 decided to extend the quarantine period of citizens that returned from the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, after some returnees tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

According to Demirören News Agency, the quarantine period of the citizens has been extended for one more week by a decision by the Science Board of the Health Ministry.

As part of measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19, some 2,500 returnees from Saudi Arabia were put under quarantine in student dorms in the capital Ankara and Central Anatolian province of Konya on March 15.

Citizens returning from the Umrah pilgrimage have caused nationwide panic, as news about them attempting to or having successfully escaped quarantine spread.

In Konya, the quarantined citizens were seen in skirmishes with security forces, in an attempt to run away from the dorms.

In the eastern Erzurum province, 28 Umrah fugitives were captured by the police and put under quarantine on March 18.

On March 19, five more run-aways were captured in the southeastern Şanlıurfa province and were quarantined immediately.

The police referred the citizens to a hospital on the grounds that they were not abiding by the 14-day self-isolation rule and were receiving guests at their houses.

Saudi Arabia on March 4 suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage over fears of the new coronavirus spreading to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.