International desk – The authorities in Saudi Arabia have decided to allow a limited number of citizens and residents who are already in the Kingdom to do this year’s Haj because of the global pandemic of novel coronavirus.
Therefore, there is hardly any chance for nationals from Bangladesh, one of the Muslim-majority nations which send more or less 100,000 pilgrims every year during the haj.
The Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah in a statement disclosed the government decision considering the pandemic and the risks of infections spreading in crowded spaces and large gatherings.
Haj for this year will be held with a very limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia.
“The decision was taken to ensure Haj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective while observing all preventative measures and the necessary social distancing protocols to protect human beings from the risks associated with this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings,” Saudi Gazette newspaper quoted the statement as saying.
“We ask Allah the Almighty to protect all countries from this pandemic and keep all humans protected and safe, the statement said.
Saudi Arabia’s top priority is to always enable Muslim pilgrims to perform Haj and Umrah safely and securely and the Kingdom has been keen since the beginning of the pandemic to take all necessary precautionary measures to protect pilgrims, the statement added.
The Saudi Human Rights Commission said that Saudi Arabia believes in the universal right to health. Limiting Haj not only protects the Kingdom but also many pilgrims and the communities they call home around the world.