IS HAJJ 1441H FEASIBLE?
Hajj under pandemic condition introduces additional complexities and challenges for managers and organisers of Hajj affairs. The question of feasibility underpins the magnitude of Hajj operations in 1441H/2020 and its possibility.
A NEW PARADIGM – MANAGEMENT UNDER PANDEMIC CONDITIONS
The basic premise for the feasibility of Hajj within pandemic conditions is dependent on numerous variables and conditions, which can be categorised within the 5 circular domains, without a clear “Yes” on each of these domains the feasibility diminishes.
1. Faith & Religion:
Islam places restrictions upon travel in pandemic conditions as well as advises caution for preservation of life. The Government of Saudi Arabia is required to provide clear guidance and notification confirming Makkah as a health risk free zone.
2.Health & Safety:
Without a “COVID 19 Vaccine” professionals and governments can only mitigate risks and not eradicate risks. This requires safeguarding all Pilgrims with known and unknown vulnerabilities and introducing additional protection measures that provide a high level of satisfaction for all parties involved in Hajj processions.
3.Micro & Macro Economy:
The financial viability to operate businesses and services under pandemic conditions will determine feasibility and affordability. The rise in costs across all sectors and segments and affordability for Pilgrims to pay for the rising costs.
4.Government & New Hajj Policies:
Strong cooperation and political will is required to overcome “Pilgrim Welfare Challenges” posed by the COVID19 pathogen. Introducing policies that provide re-assurance to both Saudi & International
The World Hajj and Umrah Care Foundation is working closely with international partners towards the development infection control mechanisms to ensure pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia are shielded from the COVID 19 pathogen.
SAUDI ARABIAN JURISDICTION
Once the pilgrim arrives to Saudi Arabia a full set of protocols and processes have been established in responsibly transporting pilgrims from the Hajj Terminal and back.