Now that Coronavirus cases are over 100,000 in the country. Saudi Arabia considers canceling Hajj for the first time ever in its history.
A senior official in Saudi Arabia’s Hajj and Umrah Ministry told Financial Times that there are more scenarios that will be considered. But the final decision will be made within a week. The official added that they would either allow a small number of local pilgrims, while taking in mind all medical precautions or cancel the whole Hajj season.
Hajj and Umrah were expected to generate around $12 billion for the kingdom. It should be noted that Saudi Arabia has already suspended Umrah, also because of the pandemic. So whatever decision the Saudi Arabia government will land on, it will have economic and political consequences, but the priority, as announced by the official, is for the health and safety of the pilgrims.
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