Brunei govt says no Haj pilgrimage this year

Photo of the Kaaba. Hajj was previously cancelled in 967 AD owing to a plague outbreak. Photo: Dhaka Tribune. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Jun 20, 2021, Borneo Bulletin/ANN. Brunei will not send pilgrims for this year’s Haj season, the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) has announced, marking the second season that the country has deferred participation in the yearly pilgrimage, The Star reported.

The ministry in a release said the decision was made after receiving consent from His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on the recommendation of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB), which convened on April 5 to postpone the sending of pilgrims for the Haj season of 1442 Hijrah/2021.

The decision was made on concerns over the current Covid-19 developments around the world.

“The prohibition to perform the Haj, from the Government of His Majesty, must be complied by all citizens and residents of this country, including those who intend to travel to and from the country, ” added the ministry.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced on June 12 that this year’s Haj pilgrimage will be pared down to no more than 60, 000 people.

According to the Associated Press, the Haj season, which is set to begin in mid-July, will be limited to vaccinated individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 residing in the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Brunei reported one new imported Covid-19 case on Saturday, bringing the national tally to 253.

According to Brunei’s Ministry of Health, the new case is a 22-year-old man who arrived in the country from Indonesia on June 6.

Investigation and contact tracing found that there is no close contact as he was quarantined upon arrival.

The new case is being treated and monitored at the National Isolation Center with six other active cases, who are all in a stable condition.

With the detection of the new case, a total of 112 imported cases have been confirmed since the last local infection case on May 6, 2020. Brunei has recorded 409 days without local Covid-19 cases.

There have been three deaths and 243 recoveries from Covid-19 so far in Brunei.

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