After successful Hajj, Saudi govt. mulls to resume Umrah

Riyadh: After evaluating this year’s extraordinary Hajj season which was held amid heightened security and strict coronavirus-related restrictions over the next two weeks, Saudi Arabia will consider resuming Umrah.

Hajj and Umrah Affairs Ministry under-secretary Dr Hussein Al Sharif told that the ministry will compile the lessons learned from the health procedures and logistics of organising this year’s Hajj pilgrimage during the Covid-19 pandemic and start preparations for the next Umrah season. Saudi’s Okaz newspaper reported.

As part of the measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, Saudi Arabia in late February had suspended entry for individuals seeking to perform Umrah pilgrimage in Makkah or visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina. Later, on March 4, the kingdom also suspended Umrah for its citizens and residents.

Only 10,000 residents of the kingdom from different nationalities were allowed to perform this year’s Hajj which concluded on Sunday. Shaikh Abdurrahman bin Abdulaziz Al Sudais two Holy Mosques Affairs president general announced successful completion of this year’s Hajj season on Sunday.

According to the Health Ministry, no pilgrims tested positive for the coronavirus.  No one was able to enter the Holy sites in Makkah and Madina without an official permit during the period of Hajj, the security forces confirmed.