RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is expected to announce in the coming days details of this year’s Haj as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause disruptions worldwide.
The ministers of health and Haj will soon clarify what this year’s pilgrimage will look like in light of the challenges posed by the coronavirus, acting media minister Majid Al Qasabi said.
“The constant mutation of the coronavirus, the lack of clarity about the damage caused by the spread of this virus and the scarcity of vaccines in many countries,” has delayed an announcement regarding Haj 2021 details, Al Qasabi said.
Speaking at a government Press conference, Al Qasabi said the Saudi authorities do not want the annual pilgrimage to be a site from which the virus spreads and are therefore exercising caution.
Meanwhile, Indonesia has announced that its pilgrims will not participate in this year’s Haj due to coronavirus fears. “Due to the pandemic and for pilgrims’ safety, the government decided that this year it will not send Indonesian pilgrims,” said the country’s Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas.
Last year, only a limited amount of Haj pilgrims from within the kingdom were able to perform the pilgrimage.