The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that the 2020 hajj will hold amidst the raging coronavirus across the world, but said however that it will be restricted only to all nationalities residing in that country.
In a statement today, June 22, the ministry said: “it has been decided that Hajj for this year (1441 H/ 2020 AD) will be held whereby a very limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia, would be able to perform it.
“This decision is 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.
“It recalled that the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques had always served millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims annually, emphasizing that the decision to confine this year’s hajj to the people within the country stems from the top priority the government accords maintaining the safety of pilgrims on its land until they depart to their home countries.
The statement said that the decision was taken in light of the fact that the Coronavirus has spread to more than 180 countries around the world, and that deaths related to COVID-19 have reached almost half a million and over 7 million cases have been confirmed globally, and in accordance with what has been stressed by the Saudi Ministry of Health regarding the continued risks stemming from this pandemic and the lack of available vaccinations and a cure for those who have been infected by Covid 19 around the world, and to preserve the security of global public health especially in light of the increase in the number of cases in most countries, according to reports issued by global health organizations and institutions, and considering the risks of the disease and infections spreading in crowded gatherings where it is difficult to maintain safe social distancing among the individuals gathered.
It stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose top priority is to always enable Muslim pilgrims to perform Hajj and Umrah rites safely and securely and which has been keen since the beginning of the pandemic to take all necessary precautionary measures to protect pilgrims, including by suspending the entry of Umrah pilgrims while ensuring the safety of the pilgrims already present at the holy sites, such decision has received many approbations from Islamic and international organizations in recognition of its wide contribution to fighting the virus globally and supporting the efforts of health organizations in limiting the spread of the deadly disease.
The Kingdom regretted the continuation of the pandemic along with the risks of it spreading in crowded spaces and large gatherings, and its transmission between countries, and the increase in average infections globally, “We ask Allah the Almighty to protect all countries from this pandemic and keep all humans protected and safe.”