WHO welcomes Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit Hajj 2020

WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanum, said the decision to limit hajj pilgrims is in accordance with the organization’s guidelines to reduce the risk of infection. (Screengrab)
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Updated 24 June 2020

WHO welcomes Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit Hajj 2020

  • WHO says decision based on risk assessment and analysis of various scenarios
  • Kingdom said it would limit number of pilgrims for different nationalities within the country

RIYADH: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday welcomed Saudi Arabia’s decision to greatly limit the number of Hajj pilgrims this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kingdom said just 1,000 people, who are already living in Saudi Arabia, would be able to perform the pilgrimage. Last year almost 2.5 million worshippers from around the world took part.
“As some countries start to reopen their societies and economies, the question about how to hold gatherings of large numbers of people safely have become increasingly important,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanum, said. “This is especially true of one of the world’s largest mass gatherings, the annual Hajj pilgrimage.” 

Adhanum said the decision comes on the basis of risk assessment and an analysis of the various scenarios, in accordance with the organization’s guidelines to protect the safety of pilgrims and reduce the risk of infection.
Speaking n Geneva during the daily coronavirus press conference, he said the organization supported Saudi Arabia’s decision, adding that all that all countries must make difficult decisions to put public health at the forefront.
“We understand that it was not an easy decision to make and we also understand it is a major disappointment for many Muslims who are looking forward to making their pilgrimage this year,” he said. “This is another example of the hard choices that all countries must make to put health first.”

 


Saudi govt to grant 500,000 riyals to families of health workers who died from COVID-19

Updated 6 min 13 sec ago

Saudi govt to grant 500,000 riyals to families of health workers who died from COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is to grant 500,000 riyals to families of health workers who died from COVID-19.

The grant will apply to those who worked in both public and private sectors, civilian or military and to all nationalities.

This applies to those who recorded their first infection starting March 2, 2020.