JAKARTA, Indonesia

Malaysia on Thursday decided against sending people to the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was announced by Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri during a news conference in Putrajaya.

Malaysia has reported 8,369 cases of coronavirus, including 7,014 recoveries and 188 deaths.

On Thursday, the country reported 31 new cases, with 11 of them being imported.

Mohamad Al-Bakri also said standard operating procedure to main social distancing rules for the Muslim holy festival Eid-ul-Adha and the sacrificial ritual will be announced soon.

*Riyaz Ul Khaliq from Ankara, Turkey contributed to this story.

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