“Unless [Indonesia] gets a bigger quota from Saudi Arabia next year,” the ministry director general of haj and umrah, Nizar Ali, explained on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.In the second scenario, in which the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down, the quota for pilgrims will be decreased and not all of the 2020 pilgrims will depart in 2021. ”If decreased to 50 percent [of the quota], there must be additional costs in flights and accommodation as these services also apply health protocols by reducing capacity,” Nizar said.The third scenario, in which the pandemic is still not under control by 2021, will see the haj canceled again and the pilgrims deferred to 2022.Some 2.5 million Muslims across the globe visit Mecca and Medina for the religious pilgrimage. For many Indonesians, it is a once-in-a-lifetime event and people wait an average of 20 years to be part of the annual quota.As of Tuesday, Saudi Arabia has reported 308,654 COVID-19 cases and 3,691 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (aly)Topics : The Religious Affairs Ministry has prepared three scenarios for next year’s haj departure. Indonesia has decided to cancel haj departures this year, initially scheduled for June 26, as Saudi Arabia’s indefinite postponement of haj and umrah (minor haj) did not give enough time for the government to prepare health protocols for the journey.However, if the pandemic is over by 2021, all 221,000 pilgrims of the 2020 haj will depart next year. The pilgrims who were initially scheduled to leave in 2021 will be deferred to 2022.
A static model of a Mitsubishi Aircraft Spacejet sits on display at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Singapore. AP Singapore’s Health Ministry hadconfirmed 47 cases of the virus as of Tuesday. “We are also currently conductingdetailed contact tracing with all employees and other parties that the infectedperson may have come into contact with,” DBS said. (AP) SINGAPORE – The Singapore bank DBS onWednesday cleared a downtown office and told some 300 employees to work fromhome after one of its staff was infected with the new virus, adding to concernsthat also led authorities to scale back an air show drawing thousands ofvisitors. DBS said in a statement it was informedWednesday morning that an employee was confirmed to be infected and that as aprecautionary measure it told all staff working on the same floor to work fromhome.