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Malaysia, Indonesia pull out of Hajj 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic

Malaysia on Thursday has announced to pull out of Hajj 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic fears days after neighbouring country Indonesia’s withdrawal, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation.

However, Riyadh is yet to announce a decision on Hajj 2020, how KSA will proceed with it.

Malaysian Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri in a statement said that it was not safe for the 31,600 pilgrims from Malaysia who had been due to go this year to take part due to the virus.

“This was a heavy decision to make,” he said.

“that those affected would be able to go on the hajj next year instead”, he further added.

Earlier, Jakarta announced its decision to withdraw from the Hajj 2020.

“The government has decided to cancel the Hajj 2020 as the Saudi Arabian authorities failed to provide certainty,” Fachrul Razi, Indonesia’s religious affairs minister, said during a news conference in the capital, Jakarta.

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“This was a very bitter and difficult decision. But we have a responsibility to protect our pilgrims and Hajj workers.”

More than 220,000 people from the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country were set to take part in this year’s Hajj.

The virus pandemic has killed more than 400,000 people worldwide and has plunged the ritual into doubt. It led to the suspended the year-round “umrah” pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest cities, Makkah and Madina.

Saudi Arabia has reported 112,000 infection cases so far and 819 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

Saman Siddiqui

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