More than 7 million people have been infected with Coronavirus with over half a million died from it worldwide. Keeping in the fact that the virus is contagious in nature and spreads through transmission of fluid and physical touch, gatherings have been restricted from the time it was announced as pandemic by WHO.
However, after few months of continuous lockdown and curfew many countries are able to restrict the transmission of virus. Saudi Arabia has recently lifted the curfew lockdown after 3 months. However, Umrah and Hajj are the biggest tourist events for Saudi government. Umrah was banned recently however, speculations regarding Hajj were made.
The government tried their best to keep hopes high for people that Hajj will not be cancelled this year but the recent statement suggests some modifications in this regard. What is it about? Read in the article below.
Hajj will be Restricted this year to Citizens and Saudi Expats
In view of the new corona virus epidemic in more than 180 countries of the world, a limited number of citizens from different countries will be given the opportunity to perform Hajj. However, it has been made clear that those different citizens will be residents of Saudi Arabia. Read more: Procedure Involved to apply online local Hajj 2020 from Saudi Arabia
Clarification Issued by Minister of Health
According to the Minister of health,
Hajj pilgrim numbers could be limited to less or more than 1,000 instead of 10,000 to protect public health in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to Saudi authorities.
Why is Hajj not Cancelled this Year?
The recent decision made people comment why this specification of residents of Saudi Arabia was made to which the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said,
The decision was taken to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective while observing all preventative measures and the necessary social distancing protocols to protect human beings from the risks associated with this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings.
— واس العام (@SPAregions) June 22, 2020
Expected Cost of Local Hajj 2020
The details of cost for the local Hajj 2020 will be shared once the Ministry announces details of prices for local Hajj 2020. We will update here. However, keep in mind that this year it is expected to go higher than last year, the main reason of higher cost would be VAT which would be 15% from July 01, 2020. Read more: The Ministry of Hajj Issues Guidelines for Local Hajj 2020
Is the new Decision Biased at Terms of Saudi Arabia?
No clarifying the speculations, the Ministry clarified that the decision is taken in continuation of the Coronavirus pandemic and the risks of infections spreading in crowded spaces and large gatherings. He further said,
The government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is honored to serve millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims annually and it confirms that this decision stems from the top priority it accords maintaining the safety of pilgrims on its land until they depart to their home countries.
What did the Ministry prayed for the Humans of the world?
The Ministry concluded his statement with a prayer that,
We ask Allah the Almighty to protect all countries from this pandemic and keep all humans protected and safe.
Indeed, the steps are just a part of precautionary measures taken by the government against the pandemic for the safety of its citizens and the people across the world. May Allah protect us all and things may resettle to normal situation so we all can enjoy the festivity of Umrah and Hajj. Till then, stay tuned with us for further information and stay safe.
Source: Arab News