Coronavirus — World’s largest Muslim nation cancels haj pilgrimage this year

10:46 PM | 2 Jun, 2020
Coronavirus — World’s largest Muslim nation cancels haj pilgrimage this year
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JAKARTA – Amid ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has spread across the globe, Indonesia on Tuesday announced to not sent its citizens to Saudi Arabia for 2020 haj pilgrimage.

Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi said the pandemic and kingdom’s indefinite suspension on haj and Umrah trips for pilgrims of other country made the country to take this decision.

He said that there was no enough time for government to process visas of pilgrims and take precautionary measures.

"There is no haj departure this year. Those who have paid and registered will be placed for next year’s departure,” Fachrul said on Tuesday.

The world’s largest Muslim-majority country’s quota for pilgrim was 221,000 for this year. The official data showed that more than 180,000 people have already paid for the holy trip.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia has reached to 89,011 while 549 people now have lost their lives to the virus.

Following the outbreak, the country had imposed a lockdown, shutting two holy mosques and suspending business activities to stem the spread of the virus.

After Eid Al Fitr, the kingdom has started easing the lockdown restrictions but it has not issued any statement about 2020 haj.