After cancellation Summer Olympics Tokyo, Wimbledon in UK and Expo in Dubai due to excessive increment in the cases of COVID-19, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is thinking to cancel the mega religious gathering, Hajj, for the first time as the cases exceeded 100,000 in the country to combat the pandemic on Saturday to the Financial Times.
Hajj and Umrah Ministry informed FT that the country has been seeing situation from different scenario; therefore, the government would take decision within a week. The minter further said that they have all options on a table but they have prioritized the health and safety of pilgrims over everything.
However, Saudi Arabia has another strategy. The ministry has been thinking to allow a minimum percentage of pilgrims to come to offer ritual from each country this year. The two officials of KSA told Reuters that they might allow 20 percent of pilgrims of each country to offer Hajj with restrictions, if possible.
Although the decision would come in the coming week and there is a possibility that the second decision would be followed, several countries have deferred sending their citizens to offer the largest prayer.
The government of Indonesia has canceled its participation in Hajj. They have the opinion that KSA does not provide certainty. Usually, 220,000 Indonesians go for Hajj every year on average.
Besides, Hajj Committee of India has announced that there are minimum chances to send Indians for Hajj. They have announced to refund the money of people who would not be sent for Hajj.
Singapore, on the other hand, has similar decision to Indonesia.
It would have a negative impact on the economy of the country to cancel Hajj as KSA earns $12 billion yearly from Hajj and Umrah. The recent government have plan to revise plan of religious tourism to manage to gather 30 million pilgrims every year to earn $13.32 billion yearly by 2030.
The Hajj has been decided to take place in the end of July in the current year. Yet, KSA has requested to stay at home as the decision of holding religious gathering is on hold.
Saudi Arabia has confirmed 123,000 cases of COVID-19 while the death tally is standing at 932. Meanwhile, 82,000 patients have been recovered from the contagious disease.
More than 7 million have been infected with coronavirus and 430,000 have been died of it worldwide yet 4 million have been recovered from the virus.