National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health are mapping out strategic guidelines on COVID-19 preventive measures to safeguard Nigerian pilgrims during this year’s hajj operation.

The Head, Public Affairs of NAHCON, Hajiya Fatima Usara, announced this in a statement on monday in Abuja.

Hajiya Fatima Usara enjoined intending pilgrims and officials of State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards to continue observing COVID-19 protocols in order to curtail the spread of the pandemic, which had entered the second wave.

She, however, said NAHCON “is awaiting further directives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in reverence to its (the Kingdom) divine role as the custodians of the two holy mosques and its domain”.

Hajiya Fatima Usara explained that the commission commended and trust the Kingdom for its courage in taking difficult decisions in the interest of Muslims all over the world, even where the unfavourable effect of such decisions was borne by the Kingdom itself.

She assured Nigerian Muslims that as soon as the Saudi Arabia authority communicates new guidelines on the 2021 Hajj and Umrah, it would take appropriate actions in the interest of intending pilgrims.

“NAHCON joins millions of Muslims from all over the world in sharing the optimism that lies beneath the news of Saudi Arabia, lifting its suspension on international travels.

“As a people of faith, saddled with the responsibility of managing Hajj and Umrah travels from Nigeria, the news holds glad tidings for those hoping to embark on hajj and umrah from Nigeria.

“As we look forward with high hopes on the possibility of the larger Muslim community performing hajj and umrah in 2021, NAHCON will continue to await further directives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,’’ The Head stated.

TN