Coronavirus; Saudi Arabia Temporarily Halt Umrah, Hajj Pilgrimage

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Saudi Arabian government has officially stopped all umrah travels for international pilgrims to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. So far, no cases of coronavirus transmission had been reported coming from the country.

    However, surrounding countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates were less fortunate after dozens of cases were reported. 

    This temporary travel ban, according to the umrah and hajj organizers chairman Sapuhi Syam Resfiadi, had effectively canceled the departure of thousands of to-be umrah pilgrims. 

    “50-60 thousand pilgrims from Indonesia could potentially be barred from traveling to conduct pilgrimage for the next two weeks. In average calculations it would be Rp20 million each, [the losses] can reach 100 billions of rupiah,” said Sapuhi on Thursday, February 27.

    However, prior to Saudi Arabia’s official announcement, he claims to have received reports that the hajj pilgrims departing from Indonesia were able to be accepted through Saudi Arabian borders. 

    “We received videos from Jeddah and Madina showing Indonesian pilgrims accepted [by local authorities] stringent selection process or control,” said Sapuhi Syam Resfiadi.

    Moreover, due to the sudden stoppage from Saudi Arabia, the House of Representatives (DPR) speaker of the religion commission, Ace Hasan Syadzily, demanded the Saudi’s provide an explanation about the sudden temporary travel ban. 

    BISNIS | CAESAR AKBAR