Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Saudi Arabia has received about 100,000 pilgrims from abroad after the resumption of umrah (the minor hajj) service for foreign pilgrims since last November 1, 2020, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Muhammad Saleh Benten said on Sunday (Feb. 7).
The minister said that the ministry is working on operational plans to welcome the month of Ramadan and studying the developments related to the next hajj season with the concerned authorities, Saudi Gazette reported.
He noted that around nine million beneficiaries took advantage of the ministry’s I’tamarna application.
“The kingdom has worked to implement an integrated strategic plan for hajj and umrah with preventive plans and precautionary measures to allow the performance of umrah in limited numbers in several precise phases,” he said.
Benten cited the kingdom’s humanitarian stances that drew the focus of attention and global admiration, including what it did towards the pilgrims who got stuck in Saudi Arabia after enforcement of strict precautionary measures and preventive protocols following the outbreak of the pandemic.
Those pilgrims were provided with all means of comfort until their return to their countries, he said.
“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had worked around the clock, in cooperation with the security and health authorities and the presidency, on plans to resume the umrah service in three phases, as the preparations required careful precautionary measures and meticulous crowd management measures,” Bented said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window