The start date for the hajj has been set for July 29, Riyadh announced on Monday. This pilgrimage will take place under special conditions as only a thousand believers living in Saudi Arabia will be included. Applicants will be tested before arriving in Mecca and will be required to quarantine themselves after the end of the ritual.
Hajj, a pilgrimage in which only a thousand worshipers will participate this year due to the new coronavirus pandemic, will begin on July 29, Saudi authorities announced on Monday, July 20.
Riyadh decided last month to limit the number of people participating in the hajj, after this large religious gathering gathered 2.5 million worshipers last year, the vast majority of them from abroad.
“The pilgrimage meditation on Mount Arafat, the culmination of the pilgrimage, will take place on Thursday,” the official Saudi press agency SPA reported, stating that Wednesday will be the first day of hajj according to the Supreme Court. The date of the shark is determined by the position of the moon.
To include the new coronavirus pandemic, the pilgrimage will be reserved for believers living in Saudi Arabia. Foreigners will represent 70% of the believers who have the right to perform this ritual. Saudi citizens will make up the remaining 30% of pilgrims and will be selected by health and safety personnel who have been infected but have recovered from the virus.
After abolishing the “omra” in March, the small pilgrimage that takes place during the year, the kingdom is preparing to face a huge shortage, the flow of pilgrims who usually generate 10, 6 billion euros each year.
But the world’s largest exporter of crude oil has already been hit hard by the fall in oil prices and the economic impact of the containment decided to fight the virus.
The new coronavirus has officially infected 253,349 people, of whom 2,233 died, in Saudi Arabia, the most affected country in the Gulf.
If the hajj authorities indicated that the great pilgrimage would be limited to a thousand believers, some local media reported the participation of 10,000 people.
The Saudi decision to limit the number of worshipers this year, an exceptional measure, left many disappointed among Muslims both inside and outside the kingdom. But she was greeted by the Islamic World League, the head of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and Al-Azhar in Cairo.
Candidates for the pilgrimage will be tested before their arrival in Mecca, the first holy site of Islam, and will have to undergo a domestic quarantine after the end of the ritual. The rules of hygiene and physical distancing will be observed during hajj, an ice player.