Aleem Basher Manalao of Lanao del Sur has clarified that the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia will proceed this year in spite of the coronavirus pandemic. Manalao cited the statement of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan, who stated that what was suspended is umrah pilgrimage. The Hajj is the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca that takes place in the last month of the year, and that all Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime. The umrah (minor or optional Hajj ) is usually done anytime of the year. Pangarungan said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not suspended issuance of visas for this year’s annual obligation or major hajj for the Islam brethren. “What the Saudi government suspended was the grant of visa for prospective tourists and visitors seeking to perform umrah, which is usually done anytime of the year,” he also said in an interview. NCMF provincial director Guiall Kanda advised during their meeting held recently in Manila that prospective hajj pilgrims to brace for possible cancellation of the major pilgrimage because of the threat from the new coronavirus.