Saudi Arabia Temporarily Suspends Indonesian Umrah Visas Related to Covid-19

Photo: Arab News

Jakarta, MINA – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia decide to temporarily suspend the issuance of Umrah visas to Indonesian Umrah pilgrims.

It is done to evaluate and regulate the implementation of the Umrah pilgrimage that has been running for Indonesian congregations so far.

The acting director of the Director General of Haj and Umrah, the Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia, Oman Fathurahman, through his official statement on Monday, said that his party confirmed this policy after meeting and coordinating with the Ministry of Haj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia.

“PPIU, which will dispatch Umrah pilgrims during the Covid-19 pandemic, must prepare their congregations. The key is education. So PPIU must provide intensive and detailed education regarding the procedures for carrying out the Umrah pilgrimage during the pandemic,” said Oman, who is also the leader of the Umrah coordination and supervision team.

Several findings have been made by his team in the process of monitoring the implementation of the Umrah pilgrimage during this pandemic.

There were 13 pilgrims from Indonesia who were confirmed positive from the results of the PCR / SWAB tests conducted by the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia. This congregation was then isolated in a hotel for 10 days.

Other findings include a PCR/SWAB examination procedure when the congregation carries out quarantine at the hotel upon the arrival of the congregation.

In fact, according to him, this provision was not contained in the regulations submitted by the Government of Saudi Arabia.

Until now, the Ministry of Religion has recorded that there are 359 Umrah pilgrims from Indonesia who have carried out the Umrah pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in three stages of departure, namely on 1, 3 and 8 November 2020.

Indonesia is one of the first countries to get the opportunity and get permission from the Government Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to dispatch pilgrims. To ensure the safety of pilgrims, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has established Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that pilgrims must follow, including conducting SWAB/PCR with negative results 72 hours before leaving.

The congregation carried out quarantine for three days when they arrived in Saudi Arabia. When going to perform the Umrah and prayer five times a day, the congregation is required to enter data in the etamarna and tawakkalna applications. Pilgrims can only carry out Umrah once in one phase of the pilgrim’s departure from Indonesia. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)