After 2-year Ebola ban, Sierra Leone cleared to perform Hajj

Some 800 places have been allotted to Sierra Leonean Muslims to make the pilgrimage to Mecca in 2016, two years after the deadly Ebola epidemic ravaged the West African country.

Two years ago, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health banned Sierra Leone Muslims from performing Hajj or Umrah (minor Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca) amid growing concerns of the spread of Ebola virus in the country.

The Hajj organizing committee of Sierra, Leone which announced the decision this weekend, said it was not satisfied with the number of places given the country with a Muslim majority.

“The government had requested an accommodation for about 3,000 pilgrims, but for lack of space, Saudi authorities have not responded positively,” the Hajj organizing committee told reporters.

The committee said it hopes to negotiate the number of places to 1,600 participants.

Ebola killed 3,589 people in Sierra Leone, 221 of them health workers, including 11 of the country’s 120 doctors.

Overall the death toll for the outbreak in west Africa stands at 11,313, including a handful of cases of people from the US and Europe who contracted the disease while in the region.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 4433 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network