For the first time since the establishment of the kingdom in 1932, Saudi officials have begun considering canceling the Hajj this year.
According to a report by Gulf News, a senior official of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah told the British newspaper ‘Financial Times’ that’ the authorities are considering canceling the Hajj this year after there were more than one lakh cases of corona virus in the country. ‘
“Authorities are closely monitoring the matter and various aspects are being considered, while a formal decision will be taken within a week,” he said.
It should be noted that a few days ago, a report of the foreign news agency ‘Reuters’ had said that the government of Saudi Arabia has started considering a proposal to reduce the number of pilgrims in Hajj this year.
Sources close to the Hajj issue said that the authorities were considering allowing only ‘symbolic numbers’ to perform the Hajj this year, while the elderly would be banned and their health would be tightened.
According to the report, some officials have suggested that the Hajj be canceled, while some constituencies have suggested that all countries be allowed 20 per cent of the normal quota.
Restricting the Hajj threatens Saudi Arabia’s economy, while the Corona virus is already plaguing the Saudi economy.
On the other hand, many countries have already announced not to send their citizens to Saudi Arabia for Hajj this year before the final decision.
Yesterday, the main Islamic country Malaysia also announced that it would not send its citizens to Saudi Arabia for Hajj this year.
With a population of over 30 million, 60% of Malaysia’s population is Muslim, and between 30,000 and 31,000 pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia each year for the Hajj.
The Malaysian government has announced that it will not send its citizens on the Hajj, just as Indonesia, the country’s largest Muslim country, announced last week that it would not send its citizens on the Hajj.
The Indonesian government confirmed on June 2 that another 200,000 pilgrims would not be able to travel to Saudi Arabia this year because of Corona.
After Indonesia, after Malaysia also announced not to send for Hajj due to Corona, it is thought that other Islamic countries may also do the same.
India’s Hajj Committee has also said that “the chances of performing Hajj this year are slim.”
It should be noted that every year more than 2 million pilgrims from Islamic countries travel to the holy places of Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj.
About 100,000 pilgrims from Pakistan also travel to Saudi Arabia each year to perform the Hajj, but the government has yet to make a clear announcement about this year’s Hajj plan.