ISLAMABAD - The Saudi government has asked Pakistan to stop making any contracts for Hajj 2020 due to the threat of Covid-19.
The Saudi government conveyed this through a letter written to Pakistan’s Ministry for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony.
The letter says, all the pilgrims must be directed that no new contracts would take place due to the outbreak of coronavirus around the world.
It further explained that all these measures were taken for the good health and life of the people coming for Hajj from around the world.
The Saudi government further assured the Pakistani government that it is regularly monitoring the situation and will inform Pakistan regarding the further development.
It is pertinent to mention that Saudi Arabia has already halted travel to the holy sites of Muslims over the Covid-19 over fears just months ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, as the Middle East recorded more than hundreds of confirmed cases.
The extraordinary decision by Saudi Arabia prevents foreigners from reaching the holy city of Mecca and the Kaaba.
The earliest recorded outbreak came in 632 as pilgrims fought off malaria. A cholera outbreak in 1821 killed an estimated 20,000 pilgrims. Another cholera outbreak in 1865 killed 15,000 pilgrims and then spread worldwide.