TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy held a special meeting with several ministers in light of Saudi Arabia’s decision to temporarily ban Umrah entry. He understood that many countries applied precautionary measures to prevent coronavirus or COVID-19 from reaching their land.
“The Indonesian government knows that the decision is taken for the sake of the people’s health, especially those in pilgrimages,” said Muhadjir after the meeting at his office in Central Jakarta, Thursday, February 27.
Muhadjir said the government had communicated with the Saudi authorities on the matter and negotiated that the suspension should not affect pilgrims who are already in the Middle Eastern country. “And those who have just landed or will arrive. They should be allowed to resume their worship or pilgrimage,” he added.
Nevertheless, the Coordinating Minister underlined that the Indonesian government respected Saudi Arabia’s prompt decision as had been shown by President Jokowi earlier.
After the meeting, Muhadjir said there will be another meeting to prioritize the protection of Indonesian pilgrims. “Especially those related to travel agents, airlines, accommodations, hotels, and visas.”
Attended the meeting were Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, and representatives from Coordinating Ministry of Law and Human Rights and state airport operators Angkasa Pura.
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