Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia has facilitated the return of 450,000 pilgrims to their respective countries as a precautionary measure to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Over 60,000 umrah (minor hajj) pilgrims were sent back to their home countries through special flights during the five-day Eid-al-Fitr holiday, in a first such operation since the suspension of international flights in the kingdom on March 15, Arab News reported.
Around 1,500 pilgrims, who were stranded in the country, also left in April in collaboration with the ministries of foreign affairs, health and interior.
Another 40,000 pilgrims were brought to Makkah from Madinah with the help of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, to complete their rituals.
The ministry also played host to about 2,000 pilgrims, who were not able to go back to their home countries due to the suspension of international flights.
The suspension of umrah and international flights in the kingdom continues until further notice.
Reporting by Indonesia Window