Haj to be held under special Covid rules

RIYADH: The Haj will be held this year, with pilgrims following health and safety requirements due to the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has said.

The Haj and Umrah Ministry said yesterday that the event would go ahead this year “according to the due health, security and regulatory standards and regulations that preserve the health and well-being of the pilgrims”.

“Health institutions in Saudi Arabia will continue to assess the situation and take all the measures to preserve the health of all mankind,” the ministry said.

A Haj spokesman said that “overseas pilgrims will be welcomed this year to perform Haj, but we will announce details and regulations later”.

Last year, the event that usually sees more than 2.5 million Muslims travel to Mecca was curtailed for the first time in modern history because of Covid-19, allowing only 1,000 pilgrims to take part.

With borders closed because of the coronavirus, only those inside the country were able to attend.

The announcement came as the kingdom’s health ministry announced 942 new cases and 13 deaths due to Covid-19 yesterday.

Saudi Arabia is set to reopen its borders from May 17.

Pilgrimage to Mecca is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for every Muslim who can afford it.

Owing to the pandemic, worshippers have had to book a limited slot for Umrah through the government’s Eatmarna and Tawakkalna apps to ensure pilgrims meet regulatory requirements and that there is no overcrowding.

More than 3m worshippers visited the Grand Mosque in Mecca and more than 1.8m visited the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina since Ramadan began.

Millions of pilgrims visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long Haj and Umrah pilgrimage that can be carried out at any time.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/944542/Haj-to-be-held-under-special-Covid-rules


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