Saudi Arabia advises Muslims to defer Hajj plans amid coronavirus outbreak

JEDDAH: Dr. Muhammad Saleh Benten,Minister of Haj and Umrah of kingdom of Saudi Arabia said that the Saudi Arabia is fully ready to serve pilgrims and Umrah seekers, but 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 (Haj) contracts until the situation is clear.

Saudi Arabia is asking Muslims around the world to be patient and delay their plans for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages amid uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the Kingdom’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah said.

The Kingdom’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten, said that Saudi Arabia was ready to receive and serve pilgrims at any time, but that the priority is currently placed for everyone’s safety.

“Saudi Arabia is currently providing care for 1,200 pilgrims who could not return to their home countries. We also returned the sums to those who obtained an Umrah visa but could not perform the Umrah,” Benten told al-Ekhbariyah television channel.

Saudi Arabia suspended all prayers in the outer courtyards of the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina as part measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. It also stopped all nationals and residents from visiting Mecca to perform Umrah or visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.

Some 2.5 million pilgrims visit Makkah and Madinah each year for the Haj.


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