JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah facilitated the return of as many as 450,000 Umrah pilgrims safely to their countries as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Over 60,000 pilgrims were sent back to their home countries through special flights during the five-day Eid holiday, in a first such operation since the suspension of international flights in the Kingdom on March 15.
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 continues until further notice.