Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has developed a covid-19 centric operation plan to guide its operations and officials against the scourge.
A statement issued on Tuesday in Kaduna by the board states that Overseer of the Board, Hajiya Hannatu Zailani had in the year 2020 mandated the Director of Operations, Mallam Abubakar Alhassan to constitute an operational think-tank to review and brainstorm on the state’s hajj operations system and come up with an efficient covid-19 hajj operation plan that will guide the operations and mitigate the risks involve against the pilgrims and pilgrim officials.
“The plan which was to be harmonious with other stakeholder arrangements could not reach fruition owing to the cancellation of the 2020 hajj.
“Due to the preponderance of the scourge since then, against the backdrop of the increasing threat of corona virus to Hajj operations, the committee has gone ahead with its task and has concluded the assignment which is expected to guide the operations of the board in the 2021 hajj,” the statement said.
It also said the plan was expected to be formidable enough to help mitigate the risks of covid-19 against Kaduna pilgrims and officials.
“The task force under the leadership of the Director of Operations, Mallam Abubakar Alhassan, has worked along with experts in public health and other related resource persons within and outside the board, in reviewing the entire hajj operations model of the state in relations to the national structure, regulatory concerns and consular aspects of hajj operations to fathom a guideline to help it in meeting its goals of smooth hajj operations.
“The board has observed that Covid-19 portends an immense risk and danger to all operations involving human beings and human organisations. The risks of cost in human life and wellbeing are immense,” the statement added.
It said as organizations that manage human beings in their thousands, Muslim pilgrim Welfare Boards, more than any other organizations are at huge risks with regards to the threat of Covid -19.
Areas of focus
The statement said the entire steps in the process of Hajj operations were reviewed in the light of the protocols of mitigating infections and transmissions of the disease.
“Three key operational areas requiring attention were mapped and grouped under the state peculiar areas, NAHCON and Saudi areas.
“The experts in the field of public health and other relevant areas were consulted in reviewing all areas of hajj operations with a view to fathoming a trajectory to be adopted to mitigate the effects of the scourge and to be in line with national and cross-national order,” it said.
The board, according to the statement, will soon forward the manual to the Kaduna State Task Force on Covid-19 for further review and endorsement.
It also said it is willing to share the manual with other State Pilgrims Welfare Boards (SPWBs) and Private Tour Operators (PTOs) who may want to adapt the plan to guide their local operations.
Interested operators may liaise with the Independent Hajj Reporters for an electronic version.