Umrah Resumed after 13 Pilgrims Contract Covid-19

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  • Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities ease the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, November 1, 2020. Saudi Arabia allows worshippers from other countries to perform the Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca starting on Sunday (November 1) as the kingdom relaxes measures it had taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

    Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities ease the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, November 1, 2020. Saudi Arabia allows worshippers from other countries to perform the Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca starting on Sunday (November 1) as the kingdom relaxes measures it had taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Religious Affairs Ministry's Umrah and Special Hajj Acting Director, Oman Fathurahman, said Indonesia would resume sending umrah pilgrims after evaluating cases of 13 pilgrims in the first and second group who were tested positive for Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia.

    “There has been no departure [of Umrah pilgrims] since November 8. Yesterday, we were informed that the visa can be processed again. Hopefully, in the next few days, there will be more departures,” said Oman in a written statement on Friday, November 20, 2020.

    Oman asserted that the government would tighten the implementation of the health protocols in organizing umrah pilgrimages amid the pandemic.

    “The Religious Affairs Ministry will strengthen the coordination with the Health Ministry, BNPB (the National Disaster Mitigation Agency), and the Saudi authorities to be more stringent in implementing health protocols for prospective umrah pilgrims,” he said.

    According to Oman, the government would validate the result of swab tests of prospective pilgrims and conduct a quarantine program before their departure.

    The Ministry would also monitor and ensure that the pilgrimage trip provider (PPIU) complies with all provisions mandated in the ministerial decree No. 719/2020 on the guidelines for umrah pilgrimage during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    “We will not hesitate to issue a warning or sanction if there is a violation because this is about the safety of all,” Oman said.

    Read: 13 Umrah Pilgrims Contracting COVID-19 Isolated in Saudi Arabia

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