Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi announced the government's decision not to send pilgrims to Mecca in 2020 due to virus concerns.
"The government has decided to not send Hajj pilgrims in 2020/1441 Hijriah," Razi said, during a virtual news conference on the annual Islamic pilgrimage reported by state-run Antara News Agency.
"This is a bitter and tough decision to take. We have made all-out efforts, but on the other hand, we are accountable for the protection of Hajj pilgrims," he stated.
"Saudi Arabia is yet to give Hajj access to any country in the world. Hence, the government is left with little time to prepare the services and protection for Hajj pilgrims," Razi added.
Indonesia's Antara News reported that Indonesia was offered the highest quota for this year’s Hajj and planned to send 221,000 pilgrims to Mecca.
The decision was taken on the basis of a comprehensive study conducted by a team of the ministry and after consultation with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).