Ministry will work to arrange Hajj pilgrimage until last minute

Islamic Minister of Maldives Dr. Ahmed Zahir Ali. (Sun File Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Minister for Islamic Affairs, Dr. Ahmed Zahir Ali has said that Maldivians would be sent to the Hajj pilgrimage even if there is a small chance.

Speaking in a program of Public Service Media, the Minister said that the Ministry would work to arrange the Hajj pilgrimage until the last minute.

“Maldives has a small population. A small quota is received each year. This is based on the population. We are working to send pilgrims for Hajj until the last minute even if there is slight chance. “ said the Minister.

The Minister said that the government of Saudi Arabia was evaluating whether Hajj pilgrimage can be conducted based on the situation. The country was working to accommodate around 200,000 pilgrims due to the situation with COVID-19, and the Minister noted that in previous years around 2.5 million pilgrims travel to the country for Hajj.

“Around 2.5 million people gather in the Mina and Arafat. That is a huge number. The government of Saudi Arabia is evaluating how they can serve with a minimum number of pilgrims. Services provided with social distancing measures and quarantine facilities as well as assisting any sick pilgrim.” said the Minister.

The government was also preparing to make arrangements for pilgrims in case the opportunity was granted. Groups to send pilgrims will be selected and announced by the Ministry after evaluating their proposals.