Riyadh: Around 1,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform Hajj this year due to the coronavirus pandemic causing Saudi Arabia to scale back the ritual.
According to the announcement done by Hajj Minister Mohammad Benten “The pilgrims will be around 1000 or less or maybe a little more.
He also said, “The number won’t be in tens or hundreds of thousands.”
The pilgrimage scheduled for the end of July will be limited to those below 65 years of age and with no chronic illnesses.
Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah added, “The pilgrims will be tested for coronavirus before they arrive in the holy city of Makkah and will be required to quarantine at home after the ritual.”
Saudi Arabia had announced on Monday that they will be allowing limited people to go for hajj this year as it is trying to suppress the biggest coronavirus outbreak in the Gulf.
They said the ritual will be open to people of various nationalities present in the kingdom.
The decision is the first time in Saudi Arabia history that Muslims that are outside the kingdom are not allowed to perform Hajj.
There isn’t any specification regarding how the pilgrims will be selected.
But he did say that the government is working with various diplomatic missions in the kingdom to select foreign pilgrims living in Saudi Arabia who are good in health.
Hajj is a must for able-bodied Muslims that he/she needs to go for once in his lifetime, typically millions of Muslims go to the religious city which makes a major source of the virus.
The decision was made as Saudi Arabia tries to control the major spike in infection which has been increasing and is now more than 161,000.
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