Amidst the growing scare of coronavirus across the globe, Saudia Arabia has asked Muslims to hold on to their Hajj plans until further notice. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage over fears of community transmission an unprecedented move that raised uncertainty over the annual Hajj.
The latest news was revealed by he Minister for Hajj and Umrah said on state TV on Tuesday."Saudi Arabia is fully ready to serve pilgrims and Umrah seekers," Minister Mohammed Saleh Benten told the state-run Al-Ekhbariya television. Besides suspending Umrah pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia has also halted all international passenger flights indefinitely and last week blocked entry and exit to several cities, including Mecca and Medina.
Speaking about the latest development the minister said, Under the current circumstances, as we are talking about the global pandemic, the kingdom is keen to protect the health of Muslims and citizens and so we have asked our brother Muslims in all countries to wait before doing Hajj contracts until the situation is clear." Saudi Arabia till now has reported just over 1,500 confirmed coronavirus cases and 10 deaths. Globally, more than 825,000 people have been infected with over 40,000 deaths recorded.