Jakarta, IDN Times – The Saudi government finally provided certainty for the implementation of the hajj pilgrimage in 2020. The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Monday (6/22) local time announced the pilgrimage continued to be held but in very limited quantities.
In a written statement quoted by the Saudi news agency (SPA), The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah only allows worship to be followed by foreign citizens who are already inside Saudi. That is, this year’s Hajj is closed to foreigners who are outside the Petro Dollar State.
“Because the pandemic situation continues and the corona virus is more at risk of spreading in crowded areas and large groups of people, and seeing its spread between countries, then by looking at the global average increase, it was decided that the implementation of the pilgrimage this year will continue to be carried out with the number of pilgrims “Candidates for pilgrims may come from various nationalities already living in Saudi Arabia,” the Saudi Hajj and Umrah Ministry said on Monday.
The ministry also said the decision was taken to ensure the pilgrimage continued in a safe manner from a public health perspective. In addition, they also consider disease prevention efforts and the importance of protocols to keep distance to protect humanity from contracting the pandemic.
In the written statement, the Saudi Government also guarantees the safety of prospective pilgrims there until they return to their home countries. Then, what about the fate of the Indonesian pilgrims?
1. Minister of Religion Fachrul Razi still canceled the sending of prospective pilgrims to 2020 even though the Saudis changed their minds
The Minister of Religion, Fachrul Razi, earlier in the online discussion held on (9/6) then confirmed that even though the Saudis changed their minds and continued to perform the pilgrimage, the government would not send prospective pilgrims. He claimed the government did not have enough time to prepare for the departure of prospective pilgrims to Saudi.
“We firmly say there is no way we can prepare the congregation properly. There is no way we can make good health efforts,” Fachrul said at the time.
According to the original plan, the first batch of prospective pilgrims from Indonesia should have departed on (6/26) future. However, up to two weeks of departure, the Saudi Government had not yet made a decision.
As a result, because they did not want to endanger the health of more than 200 thousand prospective pilgrims, the government decided to postpone to 2021.
“What happens next is that if we are in a hurry, we will also spread the problem of COVID-19,” he said.
The government has already begun to pave the way for prospective pilgrims who want to take back the fees that have been deposited. Based on data from (10/6) in the Ministry of Religion, there were 58 prospective pilgrims who filed to take back the pilgrimage fee deposit.
Besides Indonesia, several countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and India have also postponed sending prospective pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for fear of contracting COVID-19.
Also Read: Canceling Hajj 2020, 58 Prospective Pilgrims Propose Fee Returns
2. Minister of Religion Fachrul Razi has sent a letter regarding the postponement of the pilgrimage to Saudi
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After making sure to postpone the sending of prospective pilgrims, Minister of Religion Fachrul immediately sent an official letter to Saudi Arabia’s Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammad Saleh Benten. The letter was sent through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was received by the Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi, Agus Maftuh Abegebriel on (13/6) then.
With this letter, Minister of Religion Fachrul hopes the Saudi Government can understand the reasons for Indonesia delaying the sending of prospective pilgrims to 2021.
“The Ministry of Religion has no intention of any intervention with the Saudis. The Ministry of Religion only explains its policy and hopes that the Saudis can understand the policy, “said the Director General of Hajj and Umrah Management of the Ministry of Religion, Nizar on (9/6) then through written statements.
3. Arabia still closes international flights
Meanwhile, until now the Saudi Government still has not opened international flights. That is, no aircraft from outside can enter the Saudi or vice versa aircraft from Saudi cannot get out of the country.
Page Al Arabiya (15/6) then reported that the policy of opening international flights was delayed again by the government until an undetermined time. That also applies to their national airline, Saudi Airlines.
The government added planes from outside Saudi are allowed to enter if they bring home trapped citizens abroad. Meanwhile, domestic flights have been allowed again since (31/5).
Information about when the Saudis allow international flights back will be delivered via official channels.
4. The Saudis recorded 1,307 citizens who died as a result of COVID-19
The Saudi government officially (21/6) revoked curfew regulations even though the spread of COVID-19 continued to rise. With the curfew policy revoked, all economic and commercial activities are permitted to operate. Meanwhile, around 1,500 mosques in Mecca that were originally closed have re-opened on Sunday.
At the same time, the death rate due to COVID-19 in Arabia continues to rise. According to the World O Meter page on (23/6), there were 1,307 people who died in Arabia. Meanwhile, on (6/22), there were 27 Indonesian citizens who died in the Petro Dollar Country.
Positive cases of COVID-19 in Arabia reached 161,005, where 54,523 patients were still hospitalized. A total of 105,175 patients of whom successfully recovered from COVID-19 disease.
Also Read: Minister of Religion Sends Letter to Saudi Hajj Minister Explain about Hajj Cancellation