106438331 1584003516655gettyimages 1203962527.jpegv1584004128 scaled - Saudi Arabia might cancel hajj due to coronavirus

Saudi Arabia might cancel hajj due to coronavirus


Muslim pilgrims put on masks on the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy metropolis of Mecca on February 28, 2020. Saudi Arabia suspended visas for visits to Islam’s holiest websites for the “umrah” pilgrimage, an unprecedented transfer triggered by coronavirus fears that raises questions over the annual hajj.

ABDEL GHANI BASHIR | AFP | Getty Photos

Saudi Arabia is contemplating canceling the annual hajj pilgrimage this yr as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported.

The hajj, which entails touring to the holy metropolis of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, is a compulsory ritual for all observant Muslims who can afford the journey and bodily full the journey not less than as soon as of their lifetime. One of many largest non secular gatherings on the earth, hajj attracts about 2 million folks to Saudi Arabia every year. 

Nonetheless, following the postponement of different main occasions just like the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Saudi officers have confronted strain to cancel this yr’s hajj to assist curb the unfold of the coronavirus, the report mentioned.

Officers are contemplating totally different eventualities and a “resolution shall be made inside one week,” a senior official from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah ministry instructed the newspaper. 

This yr’s hajj is meant to happen from July 29 to Aug. 4, however Saudi Arabia has but to carry a world journey ban carried out on Could 20. Different international locations have already declined to ship pilgrims this yr. 

The dominion skilled a spike in coronavirus circumstances and deaths after loosening lockdown measures, the report mentioned. Saudi Arabia has reported greater than 119,000 confirmed circumstances of Covid-19 and 893 deaths, in accordance with information from Johns Hopkins College. 

A cancellation of the hajj might put additional financial strain on a rustic nonetheless reeling from the drop in oil demand introduced upon by the pandemic. These making the pilgrimage have been anticipated to generate $12 billion for the dominion. 

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. 

To read more about the potential cancellation of this year’s hajj, check out the Financial Times’ report. 



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